Cancer incidence rate ratios of Turkish immigrants in Hamburg, Germany: A registry based study

Cancer Epidemiol. 2009 Dec;33(6):413-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2009.10.006. Epub 2009 Nov 8.


The aim of this study was to estimate cancer incidence rate ratios for Turkish migrants in Hamburg, Germany. We used a name-based approach and identified 1346 cases with Turkish names (as a proxy of Turkish origin) among 140,249 cases of cancer registered in the cancer registry Hamburg during 1990-2005. To estimate the size of the denominator population, we applied the name-based approach to the population of Hamburg as well. The cancer incidence of specific cancer sites was compared between Turkish and non-Turkish cases using incidence rate ratios (IRR), stratified by gender and birth cohort. Our main findings are that cancer of the respiratory organs is diagnosed less frequent among Turkish men in older birth cohorts but with higher frequency in the younger birth cohorts. Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissues are slightly higher in most male Turkish men birth cohorts, and even considerably higher for the birth cohort 1961 to <1971 (IRR=1.8). Among women, incidence rates for Turkish women are lower than for non-Turkish women for cancer of the respiratory system, skin cancer and cancer of genital organs. Also, breast cancer incidence rates of Turkish women are lower than for non-Turkish women, especially in older birth cohorts. Incidence rate ratios of neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissues are low in the 1931 to <1941 cohort (IRR=0.71) but increase in younger birth cohorts. In conclusion, we found differences in cancer risks between cases with and without Turkish names for specific cancer sites. These results are consistent with the findings of studies from other countries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Registries*
  • Turkey / ethnology
  • Young Adult