JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cancer incidence in first generation U.S. Hispanics: Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and new Latinos

Paulo S Pinheiro, Recinda L Sherman, Edward J Trapido, Lora E Fleming, Youjie Huang, Orlando Gomez-Marin, David Lee
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2009, 18 (8): 2162-9
19661072

BACKGROUND: The diversity among Hispanics/Latinos, defined by geographic origin (e.g., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba), has been neglected when assessing cancer morbidity. For the first time in the United States, we estimated cancer rates for Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latinos, and analyzed changes in cancer risk between Hispanics in their countries of origin, U.S. Hispanics in Florida, and non-Hispanic Whites in Florida.

METHODS: Florida cancer registry (1999-2001) and the 2000 U.S. Census population data were used. The Hispanic Origin Identification Algorithm was applied to establish Hispanic ethnicity and subpopulation.

RESULTS: The cancer rate of 537/100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval, 522.5-552.5) for Hispanic males in Florida was lower than Whites (601; 595.4-606.9). Among women, these rates were 376 (365.6-387.1) and 460 (455.6-465.4), respectively. Among Florida Hispanics, Puerto Ricans had the highest rates, followed by Cubans. Mexicans had the lowest rates. Rates for Hispanics in Florida were at least 40% higher than Hispanics in their countries of origin, as reported by the IARC.

CONCLUSION: Substantial variability in cancer rates occurs among Hispanic subpopulations. Cubans, unlike other Hispanics, were comparable with Whites, especially for low rates of cervical and stomach cancers. Despite being overwhelmingly first generation in the U.S. mainland, Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Florida showed rates of colorectal, endometrial, and prostate cancers similar to Whites in Florida. Because rates are markedly lower in their countries of origin, the increased risk for cancer among Cubans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans who move to the United States should be further studied.

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