A case-control study for evaluating the efficacy of mass screening program for lung cancer in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Motoyasu Sagawa, Yoshitaka Tsubono, Yasuki Saito, Masami Sato, Ichiro Tsuji, Satomi Takahashi, Katsuo Usuda, Tatsuo Tanita, Takashi Kondo, Shigefumi Fujimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. In Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, a mass screening program for lung cancer has been conducted since 1982 (miniature chest X-ray for all screenees and sputum cytology for those with a smoking index ≥ 600) [smoking index 600 = 30 pack years, the average number of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years of regular smoking]. Over 1500 lung carcinomas, including 250 roentgenographically occult lung tumors, were detected and treated up to 1999. In the current study, a nested case-control study was conducted in the population that was screened in 1989 to evaluate the efficacy of the screening program for lung cancer. METHODS. To reduce self-selection bias, the source population was defined as screenees with negative results in 1989 (284,226 individuals). In the population, 474 individuals died of lung carcinoma during 1992-1994. After exclusion, 328 patients who died of primary lung carcinoma at between ages 40 years and 79 years were defined as the cases. Six controls were supposed to be selected in the source population for each case and matched by gender, year of birth, municipality, and smoking habits. Controls who had died or moved before the matched case was diagnosed were excluded. Finally, 328 cases and 1886 controls were selected. Screening histories were compared, and odds ratios were calculated using conditional logistic regression analysis. RESULTS. Within the 12 months before diagnosis, 241 of 328 cases (73.5%) had attended the screening compared with 1557 of 1886 controls (82.6%). The smoking-adjusted odds ratio was 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.41-0.73). CONCLUSIONS. The mass screening program for lung cancer in Miyagi Prefecture was capable of reducing by 46% the risk of death from carcinoma of the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-594
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Aug 1


  • Case-control study
  • Early detection
  • Lung cancer
  • Mass screening
  • Nested case-control study
  • Self-selection bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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