(HealthDay News) — The historically higher lung cancer incidence in young Black people compared with White people has disappeared and reversed in men and women, respectively, in the United States, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.

Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the five-year age-specific lung cancer incidence in Black and White people younger than 55 years of age and calculated the Black-to-White incidence rate ratios (IRRs) using incidence data from 1997 to 2016.

The researchers found that in successive Black and White men born since circa 1947 and women born since circa 1957, the five-year age-specific incidence decreased, with steeper decreases seen in Blacks than Whites. In men born 1967 to 1972, the Black-to-White IRRs became unity and the IRRs reversed in women born since circa 1967. The historically higher sex-specific smoking prevalence in Blacks compared with Whites disappeared in men, while in women born since circa 1965, this prevalence reversed. The exception to these patterns was the higher incidence in Black compared with White men born circa 1977 to 1982.

“Although these patterns herald progress in reducing racial disparities in lung cancer occurrence and the success of tobacco control in the Black community, the increasing lung cancer incidence rates in Black men born circa 1977 to 1982 is concerning and underscores the need for targeted tobacco prevention interventions,” the authors write.


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