Trends in childhood cancer mortality--United States, 1990-2004

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Dec 7;56(48):1257-61.


Cancer is the fourth most common cause of death (after unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide) among persons aged 1-19 years in the United States. Because recent childhood cancer mortality has not been well characterized in terms of temporal, demographic, and geographic trends, CDC analyzed cancer death rates among children (defined as aged 0-14 years) and adolescents (defined as aged 15-19 years) for the period 1990-2004 by sex, age group, race, ethnicity, U.S. Census region, and primary cancer site/leading diagnosis, using the most recent data available from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, overall, age-adjusted childhood cancer death rates decreased significantly during 1990-2004 among both sexes, both age groups, all races (except American Indians/Alaska Natives [AI/ANs]), Hispanics, non-Hispanics, and all U.S. Census regions. However, decreases in death rates varied among U.S. Census regions and between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. Eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities is one of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2010. Further research is needed to understand geographic and ethnic disparities in childhood cancer death rates. Moreover, cancer prevention and intervention measures should be designed to reach populations that are underserved and at high risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Population Surveillance
  • United States / epidemiology