Lung Cancer Incidence in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Counties - United States, 2007-2016.
AbstractLung and bronchus (lung) cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States (1). In 2016, 148,869 lung cancer deaths were reported.* Most lung cancers can be attributed to modifiable exposures, such as tobacco use, secondhand smoke, radon, and asbestos (1). Exposure to lung cancer risk factors vary over time and by characteristics such as sex, age, and nonmetropolitan or metropolitan residence that might affect lung cancer rates (1,2). A recent report found that lung cancer incidence rates were higher and decreased more slowly in nonmetropolitan counties than in metropolitan counties (3). To examine whether lung cancer incidence trends among nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties differed by age and sex, CDC analyzed data from U.S. Cancer Statistics during 2007-2016, the most recent years for which data are available. During the 10-year study period, lung cancer incidence rates were stable among females aged <35, 45-64, and ≥75 years in nonmetropolitan counties, were stable among females aged <35 years in metropolitan counties, and decreased in all other groups. Overall, among males, lung cancer incidence rates decreased from 99 to 82 per 100,000 in nonmetropolitan areas and from 83 to 63 in metropolitan areas; among females, lung cancer incidence rates decreased from 61 to 58 in nonmetropolitan areas and from 57 to 50 in metropolitan areas. A comprehensive approach to lung cancer prevention and control includes such population-based strategies as screening for tobacco dependence, promoting tobacco cessation, implementing comprehensive smoke-free laws, testing all homes for radon and using proven methods to lower high radon levels, and reducing exposure to lung carcinogens such as asbestos (1). Increasing the implementation of these strategies, particularly among persons living in nonmetropolitan counties, might help to reduce disparities in the decline of lung cancer incidence.