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Air pollution and lung cancer risks in China — a meta-analysis

Yu Zhao, Shuxiao Wang, Kristin Aunan, Hans Martin Seip, Jiming Hao

Lung cancer is a serious health problem in China, as in the rest of the world. Many studies have already proved that air pollution as well as other environmental factors can increase the risk of lung cancer. Based on epidemiological studies carried out in China, this paper proposes odds ratios (OR) to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from indoor air pollution for the Chinese population by applying the method of meta-analysis. For domestic coal use for heating and cooking, the pooled OR values are 1.83 (95% CI:0.62–5.41) and 2.66 (1.39–5.07) for women and both sexes, respectively. For indoor exposure to coal dust, the OR values are 2.52 (95% CI: 1.94–3.28) and 2.42 (1.62–3.63) for women and both sexes, respectively. Cooking oil vapor is another factor increasing lung cancer risk. The OR values are 2.12 (95%CI: 1.81–2.47), 1.78 (1.50–2.12) and 6.20 (2.88–13.32) for nonsmoking women, women, and both sexes, respectively. Regarding environmental tobacco smoke, the pooled OR values are 1.70 (95% CI: 1.32– 2.18) and 1.64 (1.29–2.07) for nonsmoking women and both sexes, respectively. Funnel plots with statistical test have been applied to examine the publication bias, and the results implied that the analysis of coal consumption and cooking oil pollution might be affected by publication bias. The meta-analysis results confirm the association between lung cancer and indoor air pollution for the Chinese population.

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