Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 217–226

Race/Ethnicity and Changing US Socioeconomic Gradients in Breast Cancer Incidence: California and Massachusetts, 1978–2002 (United States)

  • Nancy Krieger
  • Jarvis T. Chen
  • Pamela D. Waterman
  • David H. Rehkopf
  • Ruihua Yin
  • Brent A. Coull
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-005-0408-1

Cite this article as:
Krieger, N., Chen, J.T., Waterman, P.D. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2006) 17: 217. doi:10.1007/s10552-005-0408-1

Abstract

Objective We tested the hypothesis that the US socioeconomic gradient in breast cancer incidence is declining, with the decline most pronounced among racial/ethnic groups with the highest incidence rates.

Methods We geocoded the invasive incident breast cancer cases for three US population-based cancer registries covering: Los Angeles County, CA (1978–1982, 1988–1992, 1998–2002; n = 68,762 cases), the San Francisco Bay Area, CA (1978–1982, 1988–1992, 1998–2002; n = 37,210 cases) and Massachusetts (1988–1992, 1998–2002; n = 48,111 cases), linked the records to census tract area-based socioeconomic measures, and, for each socioeconomic stratum, computed average annual breast cancer incidence rates for the 5-year period straddling the 1980, 1990, and 2000 census, overall and by race/ethnicity and gender.

Results Our findings indicate that the socioeconomic gradient in breast cancer incidence is: (a) relatively small (at most 1.2) and stable among US white non-Hispanic and black women; (b) sharper and generally increasing among Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander American women; and (c) cannot be meaningfully analyzed without considering effect modification by race/ethnicity and immigration.

Conclusion Our results indicate that secular changes in US socioeconomic gradients in breast cancer incidence exist and vary by race/ethnicity.

Keywords

Breast cancer incidence Epidemiology race/ethnicity Socioeconomic position Surveillance 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Krieger
    • 1
  • Jarvis T. Chen
    • 1
  • Pamela D. Waterman
    • 1
  • David H. Rehkopf
    • 1
  • Ruihua Yin
    • 1
  • Brent A. Coull
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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