Research: LAURILA and colleagues, N

Listed in Issue 22

Abstract

LAURILA and colleagues, National Public Health Institute, Oulu, Finland write that epidemiological evidence suggests that airway obstruction is an independent risk factor for lung cancer, which cannot be explained purely by active or passive smoking. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is associated with chronic bronchitis and complications. The authors set out to evaluate the association between chronic C pneumoniae infection and risk of lung cancer among male smokers.

Background

Methodology

230 men with lung cancer, with age and location-matched controls were selected among participants of the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. C pneumoniae infection was detected using specific antibodies and immune complexes from serum samples collected within a 3-year period prior to the lung cancer diagnosis.

Results

Markers suggesting chronic C. pneumoniae infection were present in 52% of cases and 45% of controls and were therefore positively associated with lung cancer incidence. The incidence was particularly increased in men younger than 60 years but not in older ages.

Conclusion

Further studies with larger number of cases and longer follow-up are required in order to prove that C pneumoniae infection is a new independent risk factor for lung cancer.

References

Laurila AL et al. Serological evidence of an association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and lung cancer Int J Cancer 74(1): 31-4. Feb 20 1997.

Comment

I wonder whether Chinese parsley would eliminate C pneumoniae infection (this is for regular readers of the Chinese parsley saga).

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