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COPD and cancer

It is well known that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a risk factor for lung cancer. In this month’s Thorax, van Gestel and colleagues report on a study investigating the relationship between COPD and total cancer mortality in patients with peripheral vascular disease. COPD was associated with increased lung and extrapulmonary cancer mortality and the risk of lung cancer mortality increased with disease severity. Previous epidemiological studies have suggested that statins may reduce cancer risk. This study also reported that statins were associated with a reduced risk of extrapulmonary cancer in patients with COPD but statins did not affect the risk of lung cancer.

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