Go to content

Association between COPD and stage of lung cancer diagnosis: a population-based study


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer; however, the association between COPD and stage of lung cancer diagnosis is unclear. We conducted a population-based cross-sectional analysis of lung cancer patients (2008–2020) in Ontario, Canada. Using estimated propensity scores and inverse probability weighting, logistic regression models were developed to assess the association between COPD and lung cancer stage at diagnosis (early: I/II, advanced: III/IV), accounting for prior chest imaging. We further examined associations in subgroups with previously diagnosed and undiagnosed COPD. Over half (55%) of all lung cancer patients in Ontario had coexisting COPD (previously diagnosed: 45%, undiagnosed at time of cancer diagnosis: 10%). Compared to people without COPD, people with COPD had 30% lower odds of being diagnosed with lung cancer in the advanced stages (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.72). Prior chest imaging only slightly attenuated this association (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.80). The association with lower odds of advanced-stage diagnosis remained, regardless of whether COPD was previously diagnosed (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.66 to 0.70) or undiagnosed (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.73 to 0.82). Although most lung cancers are detected in the advanced stages, underlying COPD was associated with early-stage detection. Lung cancer diagnostics may benefit from enhanced partnership with COPD healthcare providers.



Butler SJ, Louie AV, Sutradhar R, Paszat L, Brooks D, Gershon AS. Curr Oncol. 2023; 30(7):6397-410. Epub 2023 Jul 5.

View Source

Associated Sites