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Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Jul 1;138(1):29-36.

Relation between population density and cancer incidence, Illinois, 1986-1990.

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Division of Epidemiologic Studies, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield 62761.


Many investigators have examined urbanization gradients in cancer rates. The authors used incidence data for 1986 through 1990 from the Illinois State Cancer Registry, a large, population-based incidence registry, to identify race-specific, urban-rural trends in cancer rates. Using population density, they categorized an urbanization gradient into four groups. Five-year, average annual age-adjusted, site-specific incidence rates were calculated for all sex-race strata within each population density group. Monotonic and statistically significant cancer incidence trends across all race-sex groups were found for cancers of the esophagus, liver, lung, female breast and cervix, male prostate, nervous system, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, and all cancers combined. No trend was observed for blacks that was not also seen for whites; however, significant trends for cancer of the pancreas and Hodgkin's disease were seen for whites but not for blacks. Colon cancer in males was the only sex-specific trend in cancer that can occur in both sexes. Analytic studies for sites with consistent urban-rural trends across all race-sex groups may be fruitful in identifying the aspect of population density, or other unmeasured factor, that contribute to these trends.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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