`TB patients at a higher risk for lung cancer`

Washington: A new study has found evidence of increased lung cancer risk among people with tuberculosis.

Researchers at China Medical University and Hospital in Taiwan randomly selected 1 million patients covered under the country``s National Health Insurance (NHI) program.

All patients aged 20 years and older with a new diagnosis of tuberculosis between 1998 and 2000 were identified as the exposed cohort and all people without tuberculosis history were the non-exposed cohort.

Results showed that patients with tuberculosis were 10.9 times more likely than non-tuberculosis patients to develop lung cancer.

"It is well known that lung cancer is causally associated with smoking. Less attention has been focused on whether people with tuberculosis are also at higher risk of developing lung cancer,” said Dr. Chih-Yi Chen, one of the researchers.

“The risk of lung cancer may increase further to almost 16 times greater if patients with tuberculosis also suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” he said.

“This study suggests that it is also important to watch out for lung cancer prevention in the campaign against tuberculosis."

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.


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