Global, regional, and national burden of lung cancer and its attributable risk factors, 1990 to 2017

Ning Wang, Kerrie Mengersen, Shilu Tong, Michael Kimlin, Maigeng Zhou, Wenbiao Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)



China's lung cancer (LC) burden plays a pivotal role in the global cancer epidemic. Comparing LC burden and population attributable fractions (PAFs) of risk factors between China and other countries/regions is essential to inform effective intervention. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study provides a unique opportunity for such comparisons. 


We extracted the number of LC deaths, age-standardized death rates (ASDRs), age-standardized disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) rates, and PAFs of risk factors for LC deaths between 1990 and 2017 from GBD 2017. The annual percentage change (APC) was used to quantify the trends of LC ASDRs and age-standardized DALY rates. The relationship between the APC of LC ASDR and Socio-demographic Index was assessed among China and other countries. 


Globally, the ASDR for LC decreased in men (APC, −0.66% [95% CI, −0.69 to −0.62]) but increased in women (APC, 0.31% [95% CI, 0.26 to 0.36]) from 1990 to 2017. The ASDRs in China increased both for men (APC, 1.12% [95% CI, 1.03 to 1.20]) and women (APC, 0.80% [95% CI, 0.70 to 0.89]). The increased LC death numbers among men (312,798) and women (139,115) in China accounted for 59.39% and 43.01% of global increases. LC years of life lost accounted for the majority of LC DALYs globally and in China. The risk factors with the highest PAFs of LC death in China were smoking and ambient particulate matter. The ASDRs for LC associated with ambient particulate matter in China ranked second globally. 


The trends of LC ASDRs and age-standardized DALY rates and the PAFs of risk factors vary markedly by region, indicating a need for tailored measures to reduce LC burden and improve health equality. China's LC ASDRs are among the highest in the world, and the primary intervention priorities in China should be control of ambient particulate matter and tobacco usage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4220-4234
Number of pages15
Issue number18
Early online date25 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


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