TB patients ‘more prone to lung cancer’

Last Updated: Jan 03, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

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

Scientists at China Medical University and Hospital in Taiwan randomly selected 1 million patients covered under the country`s National Health Insurance 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.

Patients with any cancer diagnosis were excluded to ensure that all participants were cancer-free at the start of both cohorts.

Overall, 716,872 adults were eligible for the analysis - 4,480 in the tuberculosis cohort and 712,392 in the non-tuberculosis cohort.

Both groups were followed from 2001 through 2007. Results showed that patients with tuberculosis were 10.9 times more likely than non-tuberculosis patients to develop lung cancer.

Mortality was also much higher in the patients with tuberculosis than in the non-tuberculosis patients.

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