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Salud Publica Mex. 2003;45 Suppl 3:S315-25.

Cervical cancer, a disease of poverty: mortality differences between urban and rural areas in Mexico.

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  • 1El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Baja California, México.



To examine cervical cancer mortality rates in Mexican urban and rural communities, and their association with poverty-related factors, during 1990-2000.


We analyzed data from national databases to obtain mortality trends and regional variations using a Poisson regression model based on location (urban-rural).


During 1990-2000 a total of 48,761 cervical cancer (CC) deaths were reported in Mexico (1990 = 4,280 deaths/year; 2000 = 4,620 deaths/year). On average, 12 women died every 24 hours, with 0.76% yearly annual growth in CC deaths. Women living in rural areas had 3.07 higher CC mortality risks compared to women with urban residence. Comparison of state CC mortality rates (reference = Mexico City) found higher risk in states with lower socio-economic development (Chiapas, relative risk [RR] = 10.99; Nayarit, RR = 10.5). Predominantly rural states had higher CC mortality rates compared to Mexico City (lowest rural population).


CC mortality is associated with poverty-related factors, including lack of formal education, unemployment, low socio-economic level, rural residence and insufficient access to healthcare. This indicates the need for eradication of regional differences in cancer detection. This paper is available too at:

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