More Women Die of Lung Cancer at 2 Regions in U.S.

Death rates resulting from Lung cancer among women have declined in the United States, but have increased in two regions where smoking is more common, a new research discovers.

The first cluster or “hot spot” comprises 669 counties in Appalachia and the Midwest, and the second is 81 counties in the northern Midwest, according to the analysis of U.S. National Cancer Institute data.

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Between 1990 and 2015, the rate of lung cancer death among women fell 6%. According to the researchers, the rates rose 13% in the first hot spot and 7% in the second one during this time period.

Study co-author Katherine Ross said;

“Midwestern and Appalachian states have the highest prevalence of smoking among women and the lowest percent declines in smoking in recent years, so it is perhaps not surprising that we found that women in these areas experienced a disparity in lung cancer death rates.”

In 1990, the lung cancer death rate among women in the largest hot spot was 4 percent lower than that for women in the rest of the United States. The researchers discovered that by 2015, it was 28 percent higher.

For the second hot spot, women’s lung cancer death rate was 18 percent lower than elsewhere in 1990, but rose to the same as non-hot spot levels by 2015.

Ross warned that the geographic differences may get worse unless tobacco use among women in these hot spots is reduced.

“There are several effective tobacco control policies available, such as increased excise taxes on tobacco and comprehensive smoke-free air laws that ban smoking in the workplace, restaurants and bars,” Ross said in a journal news release.

“However, many states in our identified hot spots either do not have these measures in place, or they are relatively weak and could be strengthened,” Ross stated.

The study was published March 30 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.


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