Patients undergoing lung cancer screening (LCS) who self-report lung-related comorbidities have similar outcomes as patients who do not report such comorbidities, according to findings published in JAMA Network Open.

The study authors noted that current guidelines do not specify whether LCS should differ among patients with comorbidities. The authors sought to assess whether self-reported lung-related comorbidities may be a marker for worse LCS outcomes.

Using data from the North Carolina Lung Screening Registry, the authors identified 611 patients who underwent LCS at 5 centers between 2014 and 2020. The patients were evaluated for characteristics and outcomes on the basis of self-reported comorbidities.

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There were 335 patients with self-reported comorbidities and 276 without them. Patients with comorbidities were more likely to be women (53.7% and 44.6% respectively; P =.02), White (84.4% and 71.0%; P <.001), and have a high school education or less (46.7% and 30.8%; P =.001). No significant differences in nonlung comorbidities were observed between cohorts.

Across all examinations, 13.8% of patients were positive at baseline, and 11.6% were positive at follow-up. The cancer detection rate was 1.8 per 100 persons, and the false-positive rate was 11.2 per 100 persons. No significant differences in LCS outcomes were observed on the basis of self-reported lung-related comorbidity (all P ≥.14).

Among the 17 participants found to have lung cancer, 82.4% had non-small cell lung cancer, 81.3% had stage I disease, and 64.7% had adenocarcinoma histology.

The major limitation of this study was that some patients may have sought medical care outside the network for lung cancer.


Metwally EM, Rivera MP, Durham DD, et al. Lung cancer screening in individuals with and without lung-related comorbidities. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(9):e2230146. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.30146

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor