Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and lung cancer risk: a meta-analysis.

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Eur J Cancer. 2011 Mar;47(5):742-7. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and lung cancer risk: a meta-analysis.


First Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital, Nanjing, China.


Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) is a common cause of acute respiratory infection and has been hypothesised to cause several chronic diseases, including lung cancer. Numbers studies were conducted to analyse the association between C. pneumoniae infection and risk of lung cancer, but no clear consensus had been found. To assess this relationship more precisely, a meta-analysis was performed. The electronic databases PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and CNKI were searched; Data were extracted and analysed independently by two investigators. Ultimately, 12 studies, involving 2595 lung cancer cases and 2585 controls from four prospective studies and eight retrospective studies were included. Overall, people exposed to C. pneumoniae infection had an odds ratio (OR) of 1.48 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.32-1.67) for lung cancer risk, relative to those not exposed. C. pneumoniae infection was clearly identified as a risk factor for lung cancer in both prospective studies (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.00-1.36) and retrospective studies (OR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.79-2.63) and in both IgA ? 16 cutoff group (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.41) and the IgA ? 64 cutoff group (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.88-2.93). In conclusion, C. pneumoniae infection is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer, higher titre may be a better predictor of lung cancer risk.