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“Unacceptably low” annual lung cancer screening adherence among high-risk patients

Adherence to annual lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans was only 22.3 percent among more than 1 million patients considered high risk who underwent baseline screening between 2015 and 2019.

For individuals considered high risk based on age and smoking history, an annual lung scan of the chest has been recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) since 2013.  Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere analyzed the medical records of more than one million people who were screened.

More than half were eligible for a follow-up scan, but only 22.3 percent of them had the follow-up annual examinations. The rate of adherence ranged from 24 percent for Whites, 19 percent for Blacks, 18 percent for Asians and 17 percent for Hispanics. Adherence was higher in former smokers than in current smokers.

“Annual adherence to screening is unacceptably low overall, especially among individuals who smoke and are Hispanic or Black,” Gerard Silvestro, MD (above) and his colleagues concluded.

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