HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending high-risk asymptomatic adults aged 55 to 80 years undergo low-dose computed tomography screening for lung cancer.

The most advantageous strategy, screening 55- to 80-year-old ever smokers with 30 or more pack-years exposure, would lead to 50% of cases being detected at stage I/II and a 14% reduction in lung cancer mortality, Harry J. de Koning, MD, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The findings were based on data from five independent models created to examine the benefits and harms of CT screening for lung cancer among those aged 45 to 90 years. A total of 576 scenarios with varying eligibility criteria and screening intervals were included.

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Based on the projected benefits, USPSTF is recommending annual lung cancer screening with low-dose CT for asymptomatic adults aged 55 to 80 years with a 30 pack-year history and who currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years. Once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health issue that limits life expectancy or the ability to undergo curative lung surgery, screening should be discontinued.

“It’s clear that the longer and the more a person smokes, the greater their risk is for developing lung cancer,” Michael LeFevre, MD, MSPH, co-vice chair of the task force, said in a statement. “When clinicians are determining who would most benefit from screening, they need to look at a person’s age, overall health, how much the person has smoked, and whether the person is still smoking or how many years it has been since the person quit.”


  1. Moyer VA et al. “Screening for Lung Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.” Ann Intern Med. 2013; doi:10.7326/M13-2771.
  2. de Koning HJ et al. “Benefits and Harms of Computed Tomography Lung Cancer Screening Strategies: A Comparative Modeling Study for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forc.” Ann Intern Med. 2013; doi:10.7326/M13-2316.