Public Release: 

Newsbriefs from May issue of the journal Chest

Statins prevent lung cancer, shows new study

American College of Chest Physicians

STATINS SHOWN TO PREVENT LUNG CANCER

New research shows that statins appear to protect against the development of lung cancer. The large population study, conducted by researchers from Louisiana State University and the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, consisted of data collected over a 6-year period from the VA Health Care System. The case population consisted of 483,733 patients--some with lung cancer and others without (control group). Of the total population, 7,280 had lung cancer and 163,662 were receiving statins. The duration of statin use was defined as the time of usage prior to lung cancer diagnosis or time of usage until the data collection was completed. Researchers found that statin use of 6 or more months was associated with a lung cancer risk reduction of 55%. Statin use of more than 6 months showed a decreased risk of lung cancer across all age groups, and despite race, smoking status, or body mass index (BMI). This study appears in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

FIRST DEGREE RELATIVES OF PATIENTS WITH LUNG CANCER HAVE INCREASED CANCER RISK

A new study reveals that first-degree relatives of patients with early-onset lung cancer are at an increased risk of developing other types of cancer. Furthermore, the risk is largely affected by race. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University gathered the family histories from 673 patients with lung cancer, who were identified from the metropolitan Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, and 773 age-, race-, and sex-matched control subjects. Data were also collected from 3,556 case relatives and 3,943 control relatives. Results showed that African-American case relatives were more than twice as likely to develop head and neck cancers compared with their Caucasian counterparts. African-American case relatives were also at an increased risk of head and neck cancers and all tobacco-related cancers, among others, when compared to the African-American control relatives. This study appears in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

FIREFIGHTERS REPORT INCREASE IN LUNG ILLNESS FROM WTC 'DUST'

New-onset sarcoidosis of the lung is on the rise among Ground Zero firefighters, according to a new study. During the 5 years post-World Trade Center (WTC) collapse, researchers from the NYC Fire Department Health Services, New York University, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, report an additional 26 firefighters who now suffer from the inflammatory illness. All of the firefighters were enrolled in the Fire Department of New York's (FDNY) WTC Monitoring and Treatment Programs and underwent chest CT imaging, pulmonary function testing, provocative challenge, and biopsy. Researchers compared the annual incidence rates to the 15 years pre-WTC collapse and suggest that these findings are significant. This study appears in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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