Lung-Cancer Link: TB or not TB?

Study links TB to increased risk of lung cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Though a direct link has never been established between tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer, researchers have established some compelling evidence suggesting a correlation.

Among 1 million randomly selected patients, those aged 20 and older with a diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) between 1998 and 2000 were identified as exposed cohorts, and those without a TB were grouped as non-exposed cohorts. Any patient with a cancer diagnosis was excluded from the study.

Some 716,872 adults (4,480 in the exposed cohort and 712,392 in the non-exposed cohort) remained eligible for analysis, which found patients with TB were nearly 11 times more likely than non-TB patients to develop lung cancer (26.3 percent compared to 2.41 percent per 10,000 patients). Patients from the TB group also suffered a higher mortality rate (51.1 compared to 8.2 per 10,000 patients).

The risk of lung cancer may increase almost 16 times in patients with TB who also suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the research performed at China Medical University and Hospital.

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Review Date: 
January 4, 2011
Last Updated:
January 4, 2011