Racial differences in the perception of lung cancer: The 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey

Christopher S. Lathan, Cassandra Okechukwu, Bettina F. Drake, Gary G. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Racial disparities in lung cancer have been described well in the literature; however, little is known about perceptions of lung cancer in the general population and whether these perceptions differ by race. METHODS: Data were obtained from the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) survey. The authors used a sample design of random digit dialing of listed telephone exchanges in the United States. Complete interviews were conducted with 5491 adults, including 1872 respondents who were assigned to receive questions pertaining to lung cancer. All analyses were conducted on this subset of respondents. A statistical software program was used to calculate chi-square tests and to perform logistic regression analyses that would model racial differences in perceptions of lung cancer. All estimates were weighted to be nationally representative of the US population; a jack-knife weighting method was used for parameter estimation. RESULTS: Black patients and white patients shared many of the same beliefs about lung cancer mortality, and etiology. African Americans were more likely than whites 1) to agree that it is hard to follow recommendations about preventing lung cancer (odds ratio [OR], 2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-3.53), 2) to avoid an evaluation for lung cancer for fear that they have the disease (OR, 3.32; 95% CI, 1.84-5.98), and 3) to believe that patients with lung cancer would have pain or other symptoms before diagnosis (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.27-3.79). CONCLUSIONS: African Americans were more likely to hold beliefs about lung cancer that could interfere with prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1986
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2010


  • Lung
  • Nonsmall cell lung cancer
  • Racial disparities
  • Risk perception


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