Diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in Denmark during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tina Bech Olesen, Torben Riis Rasmussen, Erik Jakobsen, Henriette Engberg, Ole Hilberg, Henrik Møller, Jens Winther Jensen, Henry Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: We examined the number of lung cancers diagnosed, the quality of care and the socio-economic and clinical characteristics among patients with lung cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Methods: We included all patients ≥ 18 years old diagnosed with lung cancer from 01 January 2018 to 31 August 2021 as registered in the Danish Lung Cancer Registry. Using a generalised linear model, we estimated prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of the associations between the pandemic and socioeconomic and clinical factors, and indicators of quality. Results: We included 18,113 patients with lung cancer (82.0% non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)), which was similar to the preceding years, although a decline in NSCLC cases occurred during the first lockdown period in 2020. No difference in distribution of income or educational level was observed. No difference was observed in the quality of treatment – as measured by curative intent, proportion of patients resected or who died within 90 days of diagnosis. Conclusion: Using nationwide population-based data, our study reassuringly shows no adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, socio-economic characteristics nor quality of treatment of lung cancer, as compared to the preceding years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102373
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Lung cancer
  • Quality of care, Socio-economic factors, Epidemiology


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