States show large disparities in lung cancer mortality


Mortality from lung cancer is expected to be close to 50 per a population of 100,000 in 2018, with the highest rate in West Virginia and the lowest in Utah.

Approximately 154,050 deaths from lung cancer – three times as many as any other cancer – are predicted for the year in the United States by the American Cancer Society in its Cancer Facts & Figures 2018, based on analysis of 2001-2015 data from the National Center for Health Statistics. That figure is down from the 155,870 predicted for 2017, as the most recent trend (2011-2015) in the death rate has been a decline of about 2.3% per year for women and 3.8% per year for men, the ACS noted.

The expected number of deaths for 2018, coupled with a current population estimate of nearly 326 million, works out to an expected death rate of 47.3 per a population of 100,000. The Census Bureau estimates for the state populations and the deaths projected by the ACS produce expected death rates of 80.8 per 100,000 for West Virginia and 15.2 for Utah. Kentucky’s rate of 79.3 is just behind West Virginia, but Colorado, the next-lowest state after Utah, has an estimated rate that’s almost twice as high at 28.5.

Estimated lung cancer death rates for 2018

Nationally, death rates for lung cancer were 53.8 per 100,000 for males and 35.4 for females for 2011-2015, and incidence rates were 73 per 100,000 for males and 52.8 for females for 2010-2014, the ACS reported.

Among racial and ethnic groups, in men, the mortality was highest for those who were both non-Hispanic and black (66.9 per 100,00) during 2011-2015. Of the racial and ethnic groups of women for the same period, white women had the highest death rate (39). Hispanic/Latino men (26.4) and Hispanic/Latino women (13.3) had the lowest deaths rates, according to the report.

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