FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Adopting the 2021 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for lung cancer screening will increase the number of eligible people, including more women and racial and ethnic-minority groups, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

Debra P. Ritzwoller, Ph.D., from Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues estimated population-level changes associated with the 2021 USPSTF recommendations for lung cancer screening, which lowered the screening age from 55 to 50 years and smoking history from 30 to 20 pack-years.

The researchers identified 341,163 individuals aged 50 to 80 years who currently or previously smoked as of September 2019. Of these, 34,528 were eligible for lung cancer screening according to the 2013 USPSTF criteria. With the 2021 USPSTF recommendations, screening eligibility was expanded to an additional 18,533 individuals, representing a 53.7 percent increase. The newly eligible population included 5,833 individuals aged 50 to 54 years (31.5 percent), more women (52.0 percent), and more racial or ethnic-minority groups. The relative increase was higher for women than men (61.2 percent versus 47.4 percent) and for those with a lower comorbidity burden and lower socioeconomic status (SES; 68.7 percent for Charlson Comorbidity Index score of 0; 61.1 percent for lowest SES). Compared with the 2013 recommendations, the 2021 recommendations were associated with an estimated 30 percent increase in incident lung cancer diagnoses.

“This updated eligibility criteria may help reduce barriers to screening access for individuals at highest risk for lung cancer,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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