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.