TUESDAY, Aug. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Lung cancer screening (LCS) rates remained stable between 2019 and 2020 in the United States and increased in 19 states, according to a research letter published online July 19 in CHEST.

Stacey A. Fedewa, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined annual LCS rates before and during the pandemic nationally and by state. The numbers of LCS performed in 2019 and 2020 were obtained from the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening public reports; LCS rates among eligible adults were compared before and during the pandemic.

The researchers found that 564,164 and 557,795 of the 8.51 million eligible adults received LCS in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The national LCS rates were unchanged between 2019 and 2020 (6.6 versus 6.5 percent; screening rate ratio [SRR], 0.99; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.01). In five states (Utah, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, and Maryland), SRRs declined statistically significantly by 23 to 52 percent between 2019 and 2020. SRRs were unchanged in 25 states and increased significantly in 19 states, including by ≥20 percent in Nevada, West Virginia, Maine, and Kentucky, during the same period.

“Although national LCS rates remained low and unchanged, 19 states experienced significant improvements despite the pandemic,” the authors write. “Best practices from successful state and local LCS programs could inform ongoing efforts to detect lung cancers early.”

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