Table 2—

Overall and time-related symptomatic patterns

Symptomatic patternAll series n (%)Diagnostic period# np-value
Non-symptomatic patients (incidental diagnosis)158 (12.4)20513948<0.01
Symptomatic patients1119 (87.6)299268281271
Patients with
 Cough639 (50.0)184153160142<0.01
 Systemic symptoms630 (49.3)174153157146ns
 Dyspnoea433 (33.9)11196106120ns
 Chest pain402 (31.5)1421058768<0.001
 Bloody sputum381 (29.8)1011028494ns
 Symptoms of local or distant dissemination298 (23.3)65777680ns
 Chest infection252 (19.7)67607253ns
Mean number of symptoms per patient2.382.822.782.642.59
  • ns: nonsignificant. #: quartiles of the distribution of the dates of diagnosis (Period I: no. 319 (Jan. 1989–May 1992); Period II: no. 319 (Jun. 1992–Sep. 1995); Period III: no. 320 (Oct. 1995–May 1999); Period IV: no. 319 (Jun. 1999–Oct. 2002)); : Yates corrected Chi-squared test