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AORTIC 2017: Lung Cancer Incidence Rates and Smoking Trends In South Africa

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017

Results from a study presented at the 2017 African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) show a significant decrease in the incidence of lung cancer in relation to decreases in smoking prevalence in South Africa. However, a curious increase in smoking prevalence among women was observed since 2005. Lead author Lactatia Motsuku, MPH, of the National Health Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa, and colleagues suggest that smoking prevalence has decreased in this part of the world since the enactment of the Tobacco Products Control Act in 1993.

Lung cancer data were taken from the National Cancer Registry, and smoking prevalence was sourced from the literature. Significant decreases in age-standardized incidence rates (ASIR) per 100,000 persons between 1997 and 2010 were identified, from 13.86% to 8.55%. Among women, the ASIR decreased from 5.44% per 100,000 persons in 1997 to 3.21% in 2005. However, between 2005 and 2012, ASIR trends rose to 3.72%.

Smoking prevalence has paralleled the rising trends in lung cancer among women. Since 2005, the prevalence of smoking in females has increased significantly by 5.68%. Although overall trends in smoking rates among South African adults has decreased since 1997, future studies are needed to determine what is driving the recent increases in smoking prevalence among women.