Fewer than 1 in 5 eligible Americans receive lung cancer screening to date

only About 18 percent of eligible Americans were up-to-date on lung cancer screenings in 2022, with compliance rates varying by state and region, according to the published study. JAMA Internal Medicine. American Cancer Society researchers analyzed the data 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance SystemA population-based, nationwide survey of Americans.

Screening was determined using eligibility 2021 US Preventive Services Task Force CriteriaRecommends annual lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals—defined as current smokers with 20 or more years of cigarette smoking or those who quit within the past 15 years—and ages 50 to 80. .

A study sample of about 26,000 individuals translates to 13.17 million people eligible for lung cancer screening nationwide. Of these, less than a fifth have updated their recommendations Screening. Older people were more likely to have their screenings: 27.1 percent of respondents ages 70 to 79 were compliant, compared with 6.7 percent of those ages 50 to 54.

Rates of lung cancer screening were lower in the South — Oklahoma was only 10.5 percent compliant on average — where the burden of lung cancer was high. Additionally, state-level Medicaid expansion is associated with current status in lung cancer screening. Among the 39 states that expanded Medicaid and had higher screening capacity, the proportion of people who were up-to-date with their screening was higher, the researchers said.

People with comorbidities were more likely to be up-to-date on their screening: About 25 percent of eligible people with at least three comorbidities were screened. State-based efforts to expand access to health care and screening facilities could improve screening rates and reduce disparities, the authors wrote.

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Screening can prevent deaths from lung cancer because the disease is “generally easier to treat in the early stages” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a brief look at the statistical side of health problems. Additional information and related research are available through hyperlinks.

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