(HealthDay News) — Lung cancer screening (LCS) computed tomography (CT) scans can be used to identify smoking-related conditions that frequently are associated with adverse events, according to a study published in the July issue of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation.
Elizabeth A. Regan, M.D., from National Jewish Health in Denver, and colleagues studied 4,078 COPD Genetic Epidemiology (COPDGene) study participants who met criteria for LCS at enrollment. Coronary artery calcification (CAC), emphysema, and vertebral bone density were assessed on CT scans.
The researchers found that 77 percent of eligible scans had one or more of these diagnoses. Overall, CAC (>100 mg), emphysema, and osteoporosis were identified in 51, 44, and 54 percent of scans, respectively. Adverse events that were related to the underlying smoking-related diagnoses were observed frequently; more than half of participants reported one or more. Twenty-five, 7, and 46 percent of participants had new diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and osteoporosis, respectively. Significantly more adverse events were seen in association with new disease diagnoses compared with participants who did not have CT diagnoses for osteoporosis and cardiovascular risk.
“Expanded readings of LCS CT scans to include assessment of coronary calcium, emphysema and osteoporosis could favorably impact the health and well-being of large numbers of ever-smokers,” the authors write.
The COPDGene project is supported through contributions made to an Industry Advisory Board consisting of pharmaceutical companies; several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.