Long-term Exposure to PM10Increases Lung Cancer Risks: A Cohort Analysis

Hyun Woo Lee, Sung Chan Kang, Sun Young Kim, Young Jae Cho, Seungsik Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose Although lung cancer incidences in female never-smokers have increased, few studies focus on explicit investigation. We aimed to investigate the relationship between long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter sized 10 μm or less in diameter (PM10) and the incidence of lung cancer within different genders and smoking status populations. Materials and Methods We included Seoul metropolitan residents, aged between 20 and 65 years, who underwent a national health screening examination from 2005-2007 and were followed up until 2015. Individual-level long-term exposure to PM10was assessed based on subject home addresses. To assess the relationship between PM10and lung cancer, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for increased lung cancer incidence from a 10 μg/m3increase in PM10.Results Among 5,831,039 individuals, 36,225 (0.6%) developed lung cancer within the 7 years observed. In females, the majority (94.4%) of lung cancer development was found in never-smokers. In adjusted analyses, a significant relationship between lung cancer development and PM10was observed in males, regardless of smoking status (never-smoker: HR, 1.14 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.13 to 1.15]; ex-smoker: HR, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.14 to 1.17]; current smoker: HR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.17 to 1.19]). We also found significant associations in female never- or ex-smokers with smaller HRs (never-smoker: HR, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.05 to 1.07]; ex-smoker: HR, 1.13 [95% CI, 1.02 to 1.23]; current smoker: HR, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.99 to 1.10]). Conclusion Our findings suggest that long-term exposure to PM10is associated with lung cancer development. A novel approach to lung cancer screening needs to be considered depending on the exposed PM10level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1037
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Incidence
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Men
  • Non-smokers
  • Particulate matter
  • Smokers
  • Women


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