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Br J Cancer. 2001 November; 85(9): 1326–1331.
Published online 2001 September 1. doi:  10.1054/bjoc.2001.2060
PMCID: PMC2375248

An evaluation of screening for lung cancer in Niigata Prefecture, Japan: a population-based case–control study


Although an annual screening programme for lung cancer has been carried out widely in Japan since 1987, there is insufficient evidence to confirm its efficacy in terms of reducing mortality. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the lung cancer screening which has been widely carried out in Japan since 1987, a case–control study was conducted in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. In the study area, chest X-ray examinations for all participants and sputum cytology for high-risk participants were offered annually. Case subjects, who had died from lung cancer (174), and control subjects matched by sex, year of birth, residence and smoking status (801), who had been alive at the time of diagnosis of the corresponding case, were selected from the National Health Insurance holders. Screening histories of the subjects were compared between cases and matched controls for the identical calendar period before the time of diagnosis of the cases. The odds ratio of death from lung cancer for those screened within 12 months vs those not screened was 0.401 (95% CI: 0.272–0.591) with adjustment by smoking index. Our results suggest that annual lung cancer screening might reduce mortality from lung cancer by approximately 60%. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign

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