PURPOSE: National trends indicated that older age groups have higher rates of newly diagnosed lung cancer. We hypothesized that the trend is different in Eastern Kentucky and that incidence rates are elevated in younger age groups.
METHODS: Data were collected from the Appalachian Regional Medical Center Tumor Registry for all lung cancer cases diagnosed or treated at that facility between 1998 and 2002 and compared with national lung cancer statistics based on age of diagnosis.
RESULTS: Records from a total of 510 patients were reviewed. The 510 included 398 cases (78%) with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, and 112 (22%) with Small Cell Lung Cancer. Age comparison done in 10 year increments showed elevated rates in the 45-54 age group compared to the national average, 8.9% versus 15.9%, respectively –a 1.78 fold difference. For age group 55-64 there was a 1.43 fold elevation (20.8% versus 29.8%), and for the 75-84 age group the rate was 50% lower (27.9% versus 14.1%).
CONCLUSION: Lung cancer appears to be diagnosed at higher frequency among younger age groups in Eastern Kentucky compared to the national average.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Increased incidence of lung cancer in Eastern Kentucky could be related to higher smoking rates at young age, as Kentucky has the highest smoking rates in the nation. Occupation exposure may also contribute to this phenomenon.
DISCLOSURE: Srinidhi Reddy, None.