New Study Highlights Factors Linked to Lower Lung Cancer Risk in Patients with COPD

It is already known that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) face a greater risk of dying of lung cancer than age and gender matched controls. According to new research, a concurrent asthma diagnosis and the use of inhaled corticosteroids may be associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer in patients with COPD, while the use of acetylsalicylic acid may be linked to an increased risk.

The study aimed to analyze whether age, gender, socioeconomic factors, comorbidity, and medication may affect the risk of lung cancer in patients with COPD. Data was collected from primary care medical records and national patient registries in Sweden.

“Both COPD and lung cancer are closely related to the chronic inflammation and oxidative stress induced by smoking,” the study explained. “However, it has been shown that patients with emphysema who have never smoked also have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Hence, it is likely that the inflammatory process driving the formation of emphysema contributes as a risk factor for lung cancer.”

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