Socioeconomic, Rural-Urban, and Racial Inequalities in US Cancer Mortality: Part I-All Cancers and Lung Cancer and Part II-Colorectal, Prostate, Breast, and Cervical Cancers

J Cancer Epidemiol. 2011;2011:107497. doi: 10.1155/2011/107497. Epub 2012 Feb 14.


We analyzed socioeconomic, rural-urban, and racial inequalities in US mortality from all cancers, lung, colorectal, prostate, breast, and cervical cancers. A deprivation index and rural-urban continuum were linked to the 2003-2007 county-level mortality data. Mortality rates and risk ratios were calculated for each socioeconomic, rural-urban, and racial group. Weighted linear regression yielded relative impacts of deprivation and rural-urban residence. Those in more deprived groups and rural areas had higher cancer mortality than more affluent and urban residents, with excess risk being marked for lung, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancers. Deprivation and rural-urban continuum were independently related to cancer mortality, with deprivation showing stronger impacts. Socioeconomic inequalities existed for both whites and blacks, with blacks experiencing higher mortality from each cancer than whites within each deprivation group. Socioeconomic gradients in mortality were steeper in nonmetropolitan than in metropolitan areas. Mortality disparities may reflect inequalities in smoking and other cancer-risk factors, screening, and treatment.