Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 49(5); 2000 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2000;49(5):576-584.
DOI:    Published online November 1, 2000.
Gender Differences of Susceptibility to Lung Cancer According to Smoking Habits.
Chung Kyoung Choi, Kyeong Cheol Shin, Kwan Ho Lee
With the increase of cigarette consumption by women and the young, the incidence of lung cancer is expected to increase during the next three or four decades in Korea. The purpose of this study was to analyze the smoking habits in patients with lung cancer and to identify the gender differences in terms of their susceptibility to cigarette related carcinogens. METHODS: This investigation was a hospital-based case control study, which included the data of 178 case subjects(72 females, 106 males) with lung cancer and 218 control subjects(97 females, 121 males) with diseases unrelated to smoking. The information was obtained through a direct personal interview and a questionnaire related to personal smoking history. RESULTS: The relative frequency of the squamous cell carcinoma was substantially higher in males than in females(61.3% in males, and 29.2% in females), while adenocarcinoma including bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma was higher in females(31.9% in females, 18.9% in males). Keryberg Ilung cancer was of relatively higher frequencies in males and smokers. while Kreyberg IIlung cancer was higher in females and never smokers. The odds ratios(ORs) at each exposure level were consistently higher in females than males. For all cell types, the risk of lung cancer was increased with the quantity of smoked cigarettes, duration of smoking, and depth of inhalation. Odds ratio was distinctly higher in Kreyberg Ilung cancer than in total lung cancer and a steeper gradient of risk with increased smoking was observed in females. CONCLUSION: The ralative risk for lung cancer was consistently higher in females than in males at every level of exposure to cigarette smoke. This is believed to be due to the higher susceptibility of females to tabacco carcinogens, such as gender associated differences of carcinogen activation and/or the elimination of smoking related metabolites.
Key Words: Lung cancer, Gender difference, Smoking habits, Relative risk

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