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WMJ. 2016 Feb;115(1):11-6.

The High Burden of Cancer Among American Indians/Alaska Natives in Wisconsin.



American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) who live in the Northern Plains, includingt Wisconsin, face disproportionate cancer disparities. This report examines cancer incidence and mortality based on residence in Contract Health Service Delivery Areas (CHSDA) to assess disparities between AIs/ANs and other racial populations in Wisconsin.


To improve identification of the AI/AN race, incidence data were linked with Indian Health Service (IHS) patient records. Analysis further focused on residents of IHS CHSDA counties. Age-adjusted cancer incidence and mortality rates (2007-2011) were calculated by sex and major cancer sites. AI/AN rates were.analyzed for both statewide and CHSDA residency in comparison to statewide white rates and comparable national rates.


In comparison with whites, AI/ANs in CHSDA counties had higher incidence rates of cervical (3.5 times), liver (3.2), lung (2.3), and kidney cancers (2.1), and higher mortality rates for liver (2.7), kidney (2.2) and lung (1.9) cancers. Although there were similar rates of prostate cancer incidence between the 2 populations, AI/ANs were 1.9 times more likely to die from the disease.


AI/AN individuals in Wisconsin CHDSA counties experience the highest cancer incidence rate of any racial group for both genders combined and for females. This population also has the highest mortality rate among all racial groups for both males and females. To meet the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan 2015-2020 and Healthy People 2020 goals of lowering cancer incidence and mortality rates, the disproportionate cancer burden among AIs.

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