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Original Article
Risk factors for early-onset lung cancer in Korea: analysis of a nationally representative population-based cohort
Jihun Kang, Taeyun Kim, Kyung-Do Han, Jin-Hyung Jung, Su-Min Jeong, Yo Hwan Yeo, Kyuwon Jung, Hyun Lee, Jong Ho Cho, Dong Wook Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023101.   Published online November 21, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023101
  • 1,856 View
  • 130 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We examined the associations of socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and comorbidities with early-onset lung cancer.
METHODS
The study included 6,794,287 individuals aged 20-39 years who participated in a Korean national health check-up program from 2009 to 2012. During the follow-up period, 4,684 participants developed lung cancer. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to estimate the independent associations of potential risk factors with incident lung cancer.
RESULTS
Older age (multivariable hazard ratio [mHR], 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.14) and female sex (mHR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.49 to 1.75) were associated with increased lung cancer risk. Current smoking was also associated with elevated risk (<10 pack-years: mHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.24; ≥10 pack-years: mHR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.45), but past smoking was not. Although mild alcohol consumption (<10 g/day) was associated with lower lung cancer risk (mHR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.99), heavier alcohol consumption (≥10 g/day) was not. Higher income (highest vs. lowest quartile: mHR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.94), physical activity for at least 1,500 metabolic equivalent of task-min/wk (vs. non-exercisers: mHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.99) and obesity (vs. normal weight: mHR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.96) were associated with lower lung cancer risk, whereas metabolic syndrome was associated with increased risk (mHR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.24).
CONCLUSIONS
In young adults, age, female sex, smoking, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors for early-onset lung cancer, while high income, physical activity, and obesity displayed protective effects.
Summary
Korean summary
나이, 여성, 흡연, 그리고 대사 증후군은 조기 발생 폐암의 위험도 증가와 연관이 있었다. 반면에 높은 소득, 신체 활동, 비만은 젊은 성인에서 폐암 발생의 위험도 감소와 연관성을 나타내었다.
Key Message
Age, female sex, smoking, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors for early-onset lung cancer. While, high income, physical activity, and obesity displayed protective effects on the development of lung cancer in young adults.
Methods
The causality between smoking and lung cancer among groups and individuals: addressing issues in tobacco litigation in South Korea
Young-Ho Khang
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015026.   Published online May 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015026
  • 19,302 View
  • 155 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
This article discusses issues on the causality between smoking and lung cancer, which have been raised during the tobacco litigation in South Korea. It should be recognized that the explanatory ability of risk factor(s) for inter-individual variations in disease occurrence is different from the causal contribution of the risk factor(s) to disease occurrence. The affected subjects of the tobacco litigation in South Korea are lung cancer patients with a history of cigarette smoking. Thus, the attributable fraction of the exposed rather than the population attributable fraction should be used in the tobacco litigation regarding the causal contribution of smoking to lung cancer. Scientific evidence for the causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer is based on studies of individuals and groups, studies in animals and humans, studies that are observational or experimental, studies in laboratories and communities, and studies in both underdeveloped and developed countries. The scientific evidence collected is applicable to both groups and individuals. The probability of causation, which is calculated based on the attributable fraction for the association between smoking and lung cancer, could be utilized as evidence to prove causality in individuals.
Summary
Korean summary
이 글에서는 우리나라 담배소송 과정에서 제기된 흡연과 폐암의 인과성에 대하여 논하였다. 질병 발생의 개인 간 변이에 대한 위험 요인의 설명력과 질병발생에 미치는 위험요인의 인과적 기여도는 다르다는 점을 지적하였다. 개인에서의 흡연과 폐암의 인과성에 대한 정보로 인과확률이 활용될 수 있음을 강조하였다.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • A different causal perspective with Necessary Condition Analysis
    Jan Dul
    Journal of Business Research.2024; 177: 114618.     CrossRef
  • Trends in the of epidemiological perspectives on the causality of occupational diseases
    Jun-Pyo Myong, Hyeongsu Kim, Kunsei Lee, Soung Hoon Chang
    Journal of the Korean Medical Association.2018; 61(8): 466.     CrossRef
  • Tobacco and epidemiology in Korea: old tricks, new answers?
    Alex Broadbent, Seung-sik Hwang
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.2016; 70(6): 527.     CrossRef
Original Article
The Role of the Epidemiological Causality of the Association between Smoking and Lung Cancer.
Kyung Hwan Lee, Hyun Hee Kang
Korean J Epidemiol. 2005;27(2):28-37.
  • 65,535 View
  • 23 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
It is generally accepted that acknowledgment of the causality of the association between smoking and lung cancer plays a crucial role in imposing liability on tobacco manufacturers in tobacco-related cases. However, acknowledgment of the epidemiological causality of the association is merely a precondition to putting liability on tobacco manufacturers; it does not play a crucial role. Smokers smoke manufactured tobacco by their right to choose according to their self-decision; therefore, it is not reasonable to place all liability concerning lung cancer on tobacco manufacturers. This paper studies the dual structure of the causality of the association between tobacco manufacturing and smoking as well as smoking and lung cancer. It can be understood that tobacco manufacturers must be held liable for lung cancer caused by smoking when there was intentional concealment or insufficient provision of information on the harmfulness of tobacco and the addictiveness of nicotine. The epidemiological causality of the association is the minimum scientific and legal precondition to placing liability on tobacco manufacturers for lung cancer caused by smoking. However, striving for protection and promotion of national health by, for instance, promoting antismoking programs, the epidemiological causality of the association adequately plays a social role when viewed from a public health perspective.
Summary
Controlled Clinical Trial
Application of Epidemiology to the Tobacco Lawsuit Cases in KOREA.
Hong Gwan Seo, Hyung Joon Jhun
Korean J Epidemiol. 2005;27(2):20-27.
  • 65,535 View
  • 18 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
Over the half of last century, epidemiology has witnessed that tobacco causes lung cancer. Therefore, lung cancer lawsuits against tobacco companies have been raised in many countries. However, a discrepancy between epidemiology dealing with population-based causal association and lawsuit dealing with individual-based evidence has happened. This article discusses application of epidemiology to the tobacco lawsuit cases in Korea. Epidemiological studies such as double blind randomized controlled clinical trials and cohort studies give clinicians important information on decision-making for the treatment of an individual patient and predicting prognosis. Epidemiological data have also been applied to the diagnosis of a worker's claim on occupational disease or work-related disorder. Illegality is generally recognized in the court when direct causal relationship between offending action(s) and damage(s) is proved and the damaged must prove illegality of the offender(s). The probability theory was emerged to reduce the responsibility especially when a plaintiff has a difficulty in proving causal relationship and illegality due to long-term duration or complexity or poor condition of the plaintiff such as environmental lawsuit cases. In relation to the probability theory, a theory was raised that a causal relationship is proved legally if an epidemiological causal relationship between offending action(s) and damage(s) is proved. Based on these evidences and theories, we show our opinion that epidemiological data are applicable to the individuals such as tobacco lawsuit cases in Korea.
Summary
Original Articles
Smoking and lung cancer: foundation of modern epidemiology.
Hae Kwan Cheong
Korean J Epidemiol. 2005;27(2):1-19.
  • 43,990 View
  • 47 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
Since its introduction to western world in 16th century, smoking has been one of the most popular parts of human life. Its health hazards, however, has rarely been evaluated before mid 20th century. After early suggestion of association with lip cancer and pipe smoking, which was falsely associated with the heat of the pipe smoking, association between rapidly increasing incidence of lung cancer and increasing popularity of smoking habit in the western world has been suggested in late 1940s. Initial case-control studies, in spite of its proneness to various biases, aroused the relevance of the relationship. It was supported by following well-designed case-control studies and new method, cohort studies in both coast of the Atlantic. Consistency of the results of epidemiologic studies and additional support from animal experiments made the causal relationship to be accepted from scientific community, and finally from public and governments. Establishment of criteria of causal relationship was also established in the process of investigation of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Smoking is most common cause attributable to lung cancers in most of the world. It is also responsible for the many cancers, including larynx, bladder, oral cavity, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, stomach, liver, and myeloid leukemia; and cardiovascular disorders, respiratory disorders, and other degenerative disorders. Passive (or environmental tobacco) smoking has also been found to be hazardous. Establishment of causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer has been a landmark in the development of epidemiologic methods and concepts, which played the key role in the evaluation of risk factors and preventive intervention on the chronic degenerative disorders.
Summary
Survival Rate and Factors Affecting Survival among Patients of Lung Cancer Lived in Daejeon City.
Kil Hoi Lee, Yunhyung Kwon, Tae Yong Lee
Korean J Epidemiol. 2003;25(2):62-75.
  • 5,437 View
  • 18 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
PURPOSE
This study was carried out to investigate survival rate and the factors affecting survival among lung cancer patients who have been registered in Daejeon Cancer Registry from 1998 to 2000.
METHODS
Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazard model were used to evaluate the factors affecting survival of lung cancer patients.
RESULTS
Lung cancer was more common in men than women, with an overall sex ratio in Daejeon, Korea of roughly 3:1. The incidence of lung cancer was 17.1 per 100,000 population in 1998, 21.4 in 1999, and 22.4 in 2000. Average age of incidence was 64.8 years old and 11.7% of study subjects having family history of lung cancer. Forty eight % of lung cancer was diagnosed as Stage III and 40.6% as Stage IV. Histologically, squamous cell carcinoma was 39.7% of all and most frequent, and then adenocarcinoma 25.5%, and small cell carcinoma 19.3%. 3-year survival rate of female was higher than that of males, and that of smoker was the lowest among groups according to the smoking level. Survival rate by age fell dramatically in group over 70 years. Lung cancer patients diagnosed as Stage III and Stage IV had a much lower survival rate than those diagnosed as Stage I or II. Stage, LDH and age were proved to be important variables that affect the mortality of lung cancer patients.
CONCLUSION
We found that the stage at diagnosis was a critical factor that affected the survival of lung cancer patients from this study. So It is essential to develop early diagnosis of lung cancer and then it needs to evaluate the effectiveness of that.
Summary
Lung cancer incidence, mortality and survival rate in Korean Elderly Pharmacoepidemiologic Cohort(KEPEC) in 1994-1998.
Nam Kyong Choi, Kyung Eun Youn, Dae Seuk Heo, Yooni Kim, Seung Mi Lee, Byung Joo Park
Korean J Epidemiol. 2002;24(2):121-130.
  • 5,382 View
  • 19 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
PURPOSE
This study was conducted to estimate incidence, mortality and survival rate of lung cancer in the elderly people in Korea.
METHODS
Study population was Korean Elderly Phamacoepidemiologic Cohort (KEPEC). The lung cancer incidence cases were detected from three different sources, medical utilization database of the Korea Medical Insurance Corporation (KMIC), the database from the National Cancer Registry, and the database from the Regional Cancer Registry. The hospital survey to confirm the final diagnosis of the potential cases was conducted. A specialist on lung cancer reviewed the abstracted data to confirm the final diagnoses. The lung cancer death cases were detected from the mortality database at National Statistical Office. Incidence rate, survival rate and mortality rate of lung cancer and their 95% confidence intervals were estimated with SAS Window ver. 8.1. PESULTS: There were 213 confirmed lung cancer cases in KEPEC between Jan. 1994 and Dec. 1998. Age-standardized incidence rate of lung cancer to the Korean population was estimated to be 316.9 per 100,000 person-years in male and 65.2 per 100,000 person-years in female. Age-standardized mortality rate of lung cancer to the Korean population was estimated to be 342.3 per 100,000 person-years in male and 84.8 per 100,000 person-years in female. One year survival rate was 17% in male and 11% in female. Two year survival rate was 2% in male and 4% in female.
CONCLUSION
Age-standardized incidence rate, age-standardized mortality rate and survival rate of lung cancer in the elderly Korean may be useful for further study and making health policy for managing lung cancer in the elderly.
Summary

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health