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Winchester dentists wear blue lipstick for mouth cancer campaign

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

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Source: www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk
Author: Duncan Geddes

bluelips.jpg-pwrt2

Dentists at a Winchester practice have donned blue lipstick to raise awareness for mouth cancer.

St Cuthbert’s Dental Surgery is offering free oral cancer screenings this November as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

They are joining the national campaign urging people to share ‘blue lip selfies’ on social media to support the battle against the disease, which has grown by a third in the last 10 years.

It is hoped raising awareness will encourage more people to take regular check-ups.

A St Cuthbert’s spokesman said: “We particularly want to see people coming in for the screening who maybe haven’t visited a dentist for a while, maybe because they are too busy, or maybe a little anxious about visiting somewhere different.

“We hope we can use the free screenings to show people we are actually really very friendly.”

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FDA approves Lymphoseek for all solid tumors

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

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Source: dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com
Author: Sarah Thuerk

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a Supplemental New Drug Application for the expanded use of Lymphoseek for lymphatic mapping in all solid tumors. The approval also adds sentinel lymph node detection for melanoma and breast cancer.

Lymphoseek injection (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals) now is indicated for lymphatic mapping with a hand-held gamma counter to locate lymph nodes draining a primary tumor site in patients who have solid tumors, according to a news release. The injection is also indicated for guiding sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) with a hand-held gamma counter in patients who have clinically node negative squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity, breast cancer or melanoma.

The FDA’s approval allows expanded utilization of the injection either with or without lymphoscintigraphy to enable preoperative imaging and lymph node mapping to facilitate node localization during surgery, according to the company. Lymphoseek is the only FDA-approved agent for lymphatic mapping of solid tumors.

The expanded approval was the result of data from Navidea’s combined analysis of prospective phase 3 trials in breast cancer, melanoma and head and neck cancers from more than 500 patients. Data from three studies demonstrated positive diagnostic performance of Lymphoseek across the tumor types that were studied, the company states.

The FDA also has outlined a postmarketing requirement for the initiation of a pediatric study of solid tumor cancer. That has a target date for submission in 2018.

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UCLA research could lead to simple saliva test for early diagnosis of deadly diseases

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

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Source: www.news-medical.net
Author: UCLA

UCLA research could lead to a simple saliva test capable of diagnosing — at an early stage — diabetes and cancer, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases.

The study, the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of RNA molecules in human saliva, reveals that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in blood. It was published online today by the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Chemistry and will be published in the journal’s January 2015 special print issue, “Molecular Diagnostics: A Revolution in Progress.”

“If we can define the boundaries of molecular targets in saliva, then we can ask what the constituents in saliva are that can mark someone who has pre-diabetes or the early stages of oral cancer or pancreatic cancer — and we can utilize this knowledge for personalized medicine,” said Dr. David Wong, a senior author of the research and UCLA’s Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor in Dentistry.

Wong said the test also holds promise for diagnosing Type 2 diabetes, gastric cancer and other diseases. “If you don’t look in saliva, you may miss important indicators of disease,” Wong said. “There seems to be treasure in saliva, which will surprise people.”

RNA, widely known as a cellular messenger that makes proteins and carries out DNA’s instructions to other parts of the cell, is now understood to perform sophisticated chemical reactions and is believed to perform an extraordinary number of other functions, at least some of which are unknown.

Wong’s research over the past decade has focused on identifying biomarkers in saliva. His laboratory discovered that some of the same RNA that is inside human cells are also present in saliva and can be used to detect diseases — a surprising finding, he said, because enzymes in saliva can degrade RNA, making the mouth “a hostile environment.”

The new research is a collaboration with Xinshu (Grace) Xiao, the paper’s other senior author and a UCLA associate professor of integrative biology and physiology. Using state-of-the-science genomics and bioinformatics, the researchers analyzed 165 million genetic sequences.

Among the many forms of RNA are some unusual ones that live in the mouth and in cells. For example, it wasn’t known until very recently that RNA comes in a circular form; the linear form has long been known. But the UCLA scientists identified more than 400 circular RNAs in human saliva — the first discovery of circular RNA in saliva or any body fluid — including 327 forms that were previously unknown.

Circular RNA’s function in saliva is not entirely understood, although it does serve as a sponge for tiny RNA molecules called microRNAs, which bind to it.

MicroRNAs, which once seemed to be little more than molecular noise, play important roles in many cell types, and have been implicated in cancers and other diseases, Xiao said. One microRNA can regulate hundreds of genes, she said.

The scientists compared microRNA levels in saliva to those in the blood and other body fluids, and found the levels of microRNA in blood and in saliva are very similar — indicating that a saliva sample would be a good measure of microRNAs in the body.

They also found that saliva contains another class of small RNAs, called piwi-interacting RNAs, or piRNAs, which are produced by stem cells, skin cells and germ cells. There are very few piRNAs in blood and most other body fluids, but Xiao’s analysis showed that piRNA are abundant in saliva. Although their function is not yet known, Xiao said they may protect the body from viral infection.

While most RNA molecules translate genetic code from DNA to make proteins, there is also a class called non-coding RNAs that does not.

“Saliva carries with it non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs and circRNAs that are biomarkers for disease and health monitoring,” said Wong, who also is associate dean of research at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “Had we not done this collaboration, we would never know that non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs and circRNAs exist in saliva.”

Their overriding conclusion is that saliva has tremendous medical and scientific value. In the not-too-distant future, dentists might be able to take saliva samples to analyze for a variety of diseases. And, Wong says, the research could lead to a new category of self-diagnostic devices. “This could indicate that wearable gear that informs you whether you have a disease — even before you have any symptoms — is almost here,” he said.

The scientists, both members of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, will continue their research, aiming to better understand the biology behind their findings, including the function of piRNAs.

“With a collaborator like Dr. Xiao, UCLA will continue to spearhead this science,” Wong said. “Now we have the capability and technology to reach deeper and study non-coding RNA, which has never been done.”

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Pain intensity at presentation is a survival predictor in head and neck cancer

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

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Source: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com
Author: staff

Pre-treatment pain intensity is an independent survival predictor for patients with head and neck cancer, according to new research published in The Journal of Pain, the peer-reviewed publication of the American Pain Society.

Researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center assessed the extent to which pain severity influences survival in 2,340 newly diagnosed patients with head and neck cancer. At first presentation, patients rated their pain using a scale in which 0 meant no pain and 10 indicated “pain as bad as you can imagine.” Survival time was calculated from diagnosis to death or last follow-up.

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide, and squamous cell cancer is the most prevalent head and neck cancer, which include cancers of the oral cavity, tongue, pharynx and larynx. In the United States, some 54,000 people are diagnosed every year, and five-year survival rates for oral, pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers are 56 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

Pain often is the first sign of head and neck cancer, as a result of destructive lesions and direct tissue and bone involvement. Acute pain from therapy is very common from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Results of the study showed that severe pain was reported by 19 percent of the sample, and was most prevalent in patients with oral cancer (20 percent). Pain intensity varied based on tumor stage, fatigue, smoking status and comorbid lung disease.

Eight hundred twenty eight patients died. Among those with oral cancer, overall five-year survival was 31 percent for patients who reported severe pain and 52 percent for those without severe pain. The survival differentiation was similar in patients with pharyngeal cancer.

The authors concluded that pretreatment pain severity in head and neck cancer patients is an independent predictor of overall five-year survival. They noted that patients who present with severe pain at diagnosis should be closely monitored and promptly treated for pain symptoms.

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Immune-related gene may predispose to HPV-related cancer

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

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Source: bcm.edu
Author: Julia Parsons
 

An international coalition of cancer specialists led by a researcher now at Baylor College of Medicine has identified an immune related gene called transforming growth factor beta receptor 1 (TGFBR1) that appears to play an important role in determining whether a person develops a cancer related to human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is, in particular, associated with anal cancer and cancers of the cervix, and the head and neck.

Their findings appear in the journal Cancer Research.

Until recently, head and neck cancer has been found primarily in smokers, but there has been a rise in HPV-associated head and neck cancer in nonsmokers. The head and neck cancer most-associated with HPV is oropharyngeal cancer, involving the tonsils and base of the tongue.

HPV is also one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, with certain strains known to cause head and neck and/or cervical cancer.

The National Cancer Institute predicts that HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer will likely surpass cervical cancer as the most common HPV-associated cancer in the United States by 2020.

“The real mystery is that in western countries, pretty much everyone is exposed to HPV but only a small number of people get HPV-related cancers,” said Dr. Andrew Sikora, vice-chair for research in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor. “We are trying to figure out what makes the people who actually get the cancer different from those who don’t, given that so many people are exposed.”

Using data collected as part of a genome-wide association study of head and neck cancer performed by the INHANCE consortium, the researchers were able to associate alterations in a number of immune-related genes with oropharyngeal cancer. One of these genes, TGFBR1, was found to be deregulated in patients with both oropharyngeal and cervical cancer.

“The fact that we were able to independently replicate our findings in two-different HPV-related cancers is exciting because it suggests that we have found something that is critical to the biology of how HPV causes cancer,” said Sikora, also co-director of the head and neck cancer program in the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Baylor.

“We hope to learn more about this gene and how it affects cancer,” Sikora added. “In the future we hope to develop a tool to identify who is more susceptible to HPV-related cancers.”

Sikora conducted the study while on faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York prior to joining the Baylor faculty in July 2014. Co-author, Paolo Boffetta, director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology at ISMMS was one of the investigators for the original INHANCE study.

Others who took part in this study include:  Chaya Levovitz; John Finnigan; Sara Alshawish; Marshal R. Posner; Weija Zhang; Eric E. Schadt; Eric M. Genden and Paolo Bofetta; The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York; Dan Chen and Emma Ivansson of Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
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Mandibular reconstruction using plates prebent to fit rapid prototyping 3-dimensional printing models ameliorates contour deformity

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

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Source: 7thspace.com
Authors: Masaki Azuma, Toru Yanagawa, Naomi Ishibash Kanno, Fumihiko Uchida, Takaaki Ito, Kenji Yamagata, Shogo Hasegawa, Kaoru Sasaki, Koji Adachi, Katsuhiko Tabuchi, Mitsuru Sekido and Hiroki Bukawa
 

Recently, medical rapid prototyping (MRP) models, fabricated with computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) techniques, have been applied to reconstructive surgery in the treatment of head and neck cancers. Here, we tested the use of preoperatively manufactured reconstruction plates, which were produced using MRP models.

The clinical efficacy and esthetic outcome of using these products in mandibular reconstruction was evaluated.

Methods: A series of 28 patients with malignant oral tumors underwent unilateral segmental resection of the mandible and simultaneous mandibular reconstruction. Twelve patients were treated with prebent reconstruction plates that were molded to MRP mandibular models designed with CAD/CAM techniques and fabricated on a combined powder bed and inkjet head three-dimensional printer.

The remaining 16 patients were treated using conventional reconstruction methods. The surgical and esthetic outcomes of the two groups were compared by imaging analysis using post-operative panoramic tomography.

Results: The mandibular symmetry in patients receiving the MRP-model-based prebent plates was significantly better than that in patients receiving conventional reconstructive surgery.

Conclusions: Patients with head and neck cancer undergoing reconstructive surgery using a prebent reconstruction plate fabricated according to an MRP mandibular model showed improved mandibular contour compared to patients undergoing conventional mandibular reconstruction.

Thus, use of this new technology for mandibular reconstruction results in an improved esthetic outcome with the potential for improved quality of life for patients.

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
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Potential link between breast cancer genes, salivary gland cancer

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

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Source: http://www.drbicuspid.com/
Author: Donna Domino, Features Editor

The risk of developing salivary gland cancer might be higher in people with mutations in either of two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancers, according to a new study in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (September 25, 2014).

Although salivary gland cancer is rare in the U.S. (about three cases occurring annually per 100,000 adults in the general population [0.003%]), this retrospective study suggests it occurs 17 times more often in people with inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes than those in the general population. A link between breast cancer and salivary gland cancer has been suspected for decades, the study authors noted.

The finding, which must be verified, should be considered during genetic counseling for people with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. However, as the study authors noted, unless there is a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, it is premature to offer genetic testing for these gene mutations to individuals with salivary gland cancer.

Individuals known to carry mutations in these genes and who have a salivary gland mass should be evaluated by a physician, according to researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

“Further study is needed to confirm this preliminary result, but I believe that a BRCA-positive patient with a lump in a salivary gland should have that lesion evaluated as soon as possible,” said study co-author Theodoros Teknos, MD, a professor and the chair of otolaryngology and the director of head and neck oncologic surgery at OSUCCC – James, in a statement.

It has been established that women who inherit mutations in either of the two genes have a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer than women without the mutation; men with the mutations also are at higher risk of breast cancer, the study authors noted. The two mutated genes are also linked to prostate, pancreatic, and other cancers.

The study’s principal investigator, Rebecca Nagy, a certified genetic counselor and clinical associate professor of human cancer genetics at OSUCCC – James, recommends that individuals who carry a BRCA mutation be made aware of this possible association.

“The findings should be considered during genetic counseling of families with inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations,” Nagy said. “In the future, patients with salivary gland cancer and their family members might be referred for BRCA testing, or carriers of BRCA mutations might undergo surveillance for salivary gland cancers.”

For this retrospective study, the researchers included pedigrees from patients with breast cancer in the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. A total of 5,754 individuals were identified from 187 pedigrees, and their medical histories were reviewed for diagnoses of salivary gland tumors and BRCA testing.

“The observed rate of 3 of 5,754 cases (0.052%) of head and neck cancers in BRCA-positive probands and likely carriers is significantly higher than the background incidence rate of 3 of 100,000 (0.003%) per year (p < 0.001),” the study authors wrote.

“I would like physicians and dentists to realize that BRCA mutations carry risks for salivary gland cancer as well as breast cancer, and to remember that salivary glands include not only the paired parotid glands and submandibular glands but also innumerable minor salivary glands in the oral cavity,” Dr. Teknos advised.

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Critical Outcome Technologies and MD Anderson Cancer Center to evaluate COTI-2 in treating head and neck cancers

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

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Source: www.marketwatch.com
Author: press release

Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. (“COTI”), the bioinformatics and accelerated drug discovery company, announced today that it recently executed a material transfer agreement (“MTA”) with Dr. Jeffery Myers, MD, PhD, FACS of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for the continued evaluation of COTI-2 in the potential treatment of patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer (“HNSCC”).

There are approximately 500,000 new cases worldwide of HNSCC a year, making it the sixth leading cancer in terms of new cases. In the United States, HNSCC is considered to be a rare disease and therefore represents a second “Orphan Disease” opportunity for COTI-2.

If HNSCC is caught at an early stage, current therapies, which include surgery and radiation followed by chemotherapy, can be effective. Unfortunately, HNSCC tumors with p53 mutations tend to be more difficult to treat with such mutations occurring in 30-70% of HNSCC tumors. These mutations are associated with poorer patient outcomes as traditional chemotherapy, using the current first line chemotherapy, cisplatin, is often ineffective. The overall five-year survival rate of patients with HNSCC is 40-50%.

As a small molecule activator of misfolded mutant p53 protein, COTI-2 has demonstrated in preclinical studies its ability to restore p53 function and thus induce cancer cell death for many common p53 mutations. As previously announced, the Company is planning a Phase 1 study in gynecological cancers (ovarian, cervical and endometrial) at MD Anderson with Dr. Gordon Mills and his team and these studies in HNSCC with Dr. Myers will seek to extend the understanding of COTI-2′s ability to treat p53 mutations across multiple cancer types.

Dr. Jeffrey Myers, leader of MD Anderson’s Multi-Disciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Research Program, has been studying the impact of p53 mutation, a common event in HNSCC, on tumor progression and response to therapy. His group has evaluated a number of single agent and combination treatments for p53 mutant tumors, and his preliminary findings with single agent COTI-2 in HNSCC in vitro tumor models show tremendous promise. In addition to seeing sensitivity of HNSCC cells to COTI-2, his group has found that this drug sensitivity is associated with activation of p21, an important mediator of p53′s response to cellular DNA damage. This response is consistent with the p53-dependent mechanism of action studied by Dr. Mills in ovarian cancer. Dr. Myers and his colleagues are planning more extensive studies of COTI-2 and its dependence on p53 re-activation for its effects in both in vitro and in vivo HNSCC tumor models.

“We look forward to further exploring COTI-2′s impact on HNSCC tumors,” said Dr. Wayne Danter, President and CEO. “We continue to believe that COTI-2 represents a potential breakthrough treatment given the central importance of p53 gene mutations in many cancers, including HNSCC. This second indication would broaden the treatment opportunities for our lead oncology asset, which has already been granted the Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ovarian cancer.”

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Image cytometry may have roll in oral cancer screening

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

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Source: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org
Author: Calum MacAulay, Martial Guillaud, Lewei Zhang, Catherine Poh, and Miriam Rosin
 

Abstract: Oral cancer like many epithelial cancers which are readily accessible are much more treatable if caught in their early pre-invasive/minimally invasive stages. The oral cavity is easily examined and sampled. In British Columbia we have established an Oral Cancer Prevention Program in which we are evaluating and investigating several technologies and their interactions for the screening and follow-up of oral cancer to be implemented into a population based screening program. These sensitive “field of view” image based screening technologies are generally sensitive for the detection of suspect OPLs (oral premalignant lesions), but can highlight areas who’s actual characteristics may be masked by inflammation/ulceration and other conditions. As part of a comprehensive management program we present our pilot data on the use of oral cytological samples collected by targeted brushing and analyzed by a fully automated high resolution image cytometry device (cyto-savant). For this study we collected 196 cytological samples using targeted brushing of select areas in the oral cavity from individuals with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), carcinoma in situ (CIS), severe dysplasia, no areas of abnormality and subjects with areas of inflammation/infection etc. All of these samples were spun down onto slides and the DNA quantitatively labeled with a modified Feulgen-Thionin stain and the slides automatically scanned by the cyto-savant. For each object (cell/debris) imaged ~120 features were calculated and used by a cell recognition decision tree (originally trained for cervical cell recognition) to differentiate cells from debris. The 108 samples from known normal areas and 60 samples from (SCC, CIS and severe dysplasia) were used to determine the appropriate thresholds for the frequency of cells displaying characteristics previously known to be associated with cancer detection (in cervix and lung). Using these thresholds the system correctly identified 86% of the abnormal cases and 86% of the normal cases. When tested on the 28 inflammation/infection cases the system correctly identified 92% of the evaluable samples as non OPLs. These pilot results indicate that image cytometry may have a roll in oral cancer screening. Supported by grant RO1-DE017013-01, NIDCR

 

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
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Cigarette smoking caused 14 million serious diseases in 2009

Tue, Oct 14, 2014

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Source: www.medscape.com
Author: Larry Hand

Cigarette smoking remains a major cause of preventable diseases in the United States, with at least 14 million serious medical conditions attributable to smoking in 2009, according to an article published online October 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“These estimates demonstrate that smoking accounts for millions of serious medical conditions in the United States that could be avoided in the absence of cigarette use,” write Brian L. Rostron, PhD, from the Center for Tobacco Products, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, and colleagues. “Our results also indicate that previous estimates may have substantially underestimated smoking-attributable morbidity in the United States.”

The researchers analyzed multiple sources of data from 2006 to 2012, including 2009 population data from the US Census Bureau, smoking prevalence and disease risk from the National Health Interview Survey of US adults for 2006 to 2012, and data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of US adults for 2007 to 2010.

Current and former smokers were significantly more likely to have at least one smoking-attributable disease and multiple smoking-related conditions compared with never-smokers. Specifically, almost half of surveyed men and women (47.5% and 44.9%, respectively) aged 65 years and older reported having one or more smoking-related disorder, and almost 17% of men and more than 14% of women reported having multiple such disorders. In contrast, among never-smokers, 34.9% of men and 33.2% of women reported at least one such condition and 9.1% and 7.5%, respectively, reported two or more conditions.

Rates of smoking-related conditions were also elevated among current and former smokers aged 35 to 64 years compared with never smokers. For example, almost 12% of adults at least 35 years old reported having diabetes. The adjusted prevalence ratio compared with never-smokers was between 1.17 and 1.30. The researchers also found high prevalence ratios for lung cancer (range, 4.45 – 9.35) and chronic obsessive pulmonary disorder (COPD; range, 2.02 – 4.00).

Extrapolating from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data on COPD prevalence, the researchers estimated 14 million “lifetime major medical conditions” could be attributed to the effects of cigarette smoking in 2009 (95% confidence interval, 12.9 – 15.1 million).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously published estimates of 8.6 million adults having 12.7 million smoking-attributable conditions in 2000.

The recent US Surgeon General’s report “concluded that previous estimates of the disease burden of smoking could be substantial underestimates, given the absence of several major medical conditions caused by smoking,” the researchers write.

Updated, Expanded
The current report is based on data from about 180,000 people surveyed between 2006 and 2012 compared with previous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates based on data from about 20,000 adults surveyed between 1988 and 1994. The current report is also based on calculations for full variance, which is not generally done, the researchers write. The new report also corrects for underreporting of COPD in self-reported survey data, they add.

“Our study confirms that cigarette smoking remains a major cause of preventable disease in the United States,” the authors conclude. “The resulting estimate indicates that the number of major smoking-attributable medical conditions in the United States is larger than has been previously reported, demonstrating the need for vigorous smoking prevention efforts. The disease burden of cigarette smoking in the United States remains immense, and updated estimates indicate that COPD may be substantially underreported in health survey data.”

Work Remains
In an accompanying commentary, Steven A. Schroeder, MD, from the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, writes that in general, the prevalence of smoking has declined, but that this “decline is excruciatingly slow, and there are still more than 40 million smokers in the United States.” Much of current smoking is among “hard-to-reach” populations, he adds.

He concludes, “Tobacco control has been called one of the most important health triumphs of the past 50 years. Yet, although we have come a long way, there is still much more to be done, with the number of smokers worldwide now just short of 1 billion people.”

Source: JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 13, 2014

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