Smokers and those exposed to cigarette smoke should submit themselves to lung cancer screening. Unfortunately, the people who need them the most might not be willing to undergo such tests, according to a recent study.
The research, conducted by a team from Yale School of Public Health, used data from the U.S. government between 1965 and 2012 to examine the effect of smoking habits on a person’s likelihood to undergo lung cancer screening. The study also looked into the differences between racial profiles.
Results revealed that black Americans have a lower likelihood of starting cigarette smoking when they enter late teenage years, as compared to whites. However, the likelihood of quitting is higher in white Americans than blacks as they reach older adulthood. Black smokers were also found to use fewer cigarettes on a daily basis that whites. “Racial differences in smoking initiation, cessation, and intensity give rise to substantial differences in risk for tobacco-related diseases,” said study author Theodore Holford in a news release.
In addition, black Americans exhibited lower “pack-years”, which is determined by multiplying the estimated number of cigarette packs used by the length of the person’s smoking experience in years. However, this low figure for blacks cannot discount the fact that they are exposed to cigarette smoking longer than white Americans. Because pack-years are used as basis for lung cancer screening, this estimate might lead black Americans to be less likely to undergo screening, even though they are exposed to cigarette smoking longer than whites.
Details of the study were published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.