African American & native Hawaiian smokers at most risk of developing lung cancer

Researchers in the U.S. have found that amongst the population of smokers who light up to 30 cigarettes a day African Americans and native Hawaiians are at most risk of developing lung cancer.

The researchers from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and the Cancer Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, looked at a population of almost 184,000 smokers.

The risk of lung cancer was calculated according to the level of cigarette smoking and ethnic or racial background and they found there was a quite remarkable variation in the incidence of lung cancer among ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

Among the group of 183,813, African-American, Japanese-American, Latino, Native Hawaiian, and white men and women were represented in the study.

The analysis included 1979 cases of lung cancer identified over an eight-year period, between 1993 and 2001.

The team say the risk of lung cancer among ethnic and racial groups was modified by the number of cigarettes smoked per day, but among participants who smoked no more than 30 cigarettes per day, African Americans and Native Hawaiians had significantly greater risks of lung cancer than did the other groups.

They are, say the researchers, more susceptible to the disease than whites, Japanese Americans, and Latinos.

The study is published in the current edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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