Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 379–390 | Cite as

Patterns of leukemia incidence in the United States by subtype and demographic characteristics, 1997–2002

  • Jennifer F. Yamamoto
  • Marc T. GoodmanEmail author
Original Paper



Efforts to prevent leukemia have been hampered by an inability to identify significant risk factors. Exploring incidence patterns of leukemia subtypes by sex and race/ethnic group may generate new etiologic hypotheses and identify high-risk groups for further study.


Data from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries for 1997–2002 were used to assess patterns of leukemia incidence by subtype, sex, age, race and ethnicity.


A total of 144,559 leukemia cases were identified, including 66,067 (46%) acute and 71,860 (50%) chronic leukemias. The highest rates of acute myeloid leukemia with and without maturation were observed in Asian-Pacific Islanders (API). Hispanics had a higher incidence of acute lymphocytic leukemia, particularly in childhood, and promyelocytic leukemia than did non-Hispanics. African–Americans had the highest rates of HTLV-1 positive adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. A sharp increase in the incidence of chronic myeloid leukemia was observed for both APIs and Hispanics, 85 years and older.


Known risk factors are unlikely to explain the observed disparities in leukemia incidence. Further studies of differences in environmental and genetic risk factors in these populations by specific leukemia subtype may provide clues to the etiologies of these malignancies.


Leukemia Subtype Incidence Race Hispanic ethnicity Epidemiology 



This project was supported in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement U75/CCU515998 to the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results Program under contract N01-CN-67001 from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Epidemiology Program, Cancer Research Center of HawaiiUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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