Gallbladder cancer incidence among American Indians and Alaska Natives, US, 1999-2004

Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;113(5 Suppl):1266-73. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23737.


Background: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is rare; however, it disproportionately affects the American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) population. The purpose of the study was to characterize GBC among AI/AN in the US population.

Methods: Cases of GBC diagnosed between 1999 and 2004 and collected by state-based cancer registries were included. Registry records were linked with Indian Health Service (IHS) administration records to decrease race misclassification of AI/AN. GBC rates and/or percent distributions for AI/AN and non-Hispanic whites (NHW) were calculated by sex, IHS region, age, and stage for all US counties and IHS Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) counties, in which approximately 56% of US AI/AN individuals reside.

Results: In CHSDA counties, the GBC incidence rate among AI/AN was 3.3 per 100,000, which was significantly higher than that among NHW (P < .05). Rates varied widely among IHS regions and ranged from 1.5 in the East to 5.5 in Alaska. Rates were higher among AI/AN females than males in all regions, except the Northern Plains. Higher percentages of GBC were diagnosed among AI/AN aged <65 years compared with NHW. GBC was most often diagnosed at the regional stage among AI/AN, whereas GBC was most often diagnosed at regional or distant stages among NHW.

Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge to date, this is the most comprehensive study of GBC incidence among AI/AN in the US. The accurate characterization of GBC in this population could help inform the development of interventions aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality from this disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Inuits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Registries
  • United States / epidemiology