Colorectal cancer incidence in Asian migrants to the United States and their descendants

Cancer Causes Control. 2000 May;11(5):403-11. doi: 10.1023/a:1008955722425.


Objectives: To examine the incidence of colorectal cancer among Asian residents of the United States according to country of birth.

Methods: We determined the incidence of colorectal cancer during 1973-1986 among Asian residents in three areas of the western United States (Hawaii, San Francisco/Oakland SMSA, and western Washington state) in relation to country of birth. Numerators for the rates were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program; a special tabulation of the 1980 US Census was used to estimate the size and composition of the population at risk.

Results: US-born Japanese men experienced incidence rates of colorectal cancer twice as high as foreign-born Japanese men and about 60% higher than those of US-born white men. Incidence among US-born Japanese women was about 40% higher than that among Japanese women born in Japan or US-born white women. Foreign-born Chinese men had about the same incidence of colorectal cancer as US-born white men, while US-born Chinese men experienced slightly reduced rates. Chinese women had rates that were generally 30-40% lower than that of US-born white women, regardless of place of birth. Incidence rates for both US-born and foreign-born Filipinos were 20-50% those of US-born whites.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that one or more exposures or characteristics that differ between Japanese migrants and their descendants affect the development of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Asian Americans / genetics
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology