Background: Economic status is known to be directly or indirectly related to cancer incidence since it affects accessibility to health-related social resources, preventive medical checkups, and lifestyle. This study investigates the relationship between cancer incidence and family income in Korea.
Methods: Using the Korean National Health Insurance cancer registration data in 2009, the relationship between their family income class and cancer risk was analyzed. The age-standardized incidence rates of the major cancers were calculated for men and women separately. After adjusting for age, residential area, and number of family members, cancer risks for major cancers according to family income class were estimated using a logistic regression model.
Results: In men, the risk of stomach cancer for Income Class 5 (lowest) was 1.12 times (95% CI 1.02-1.23) higher than that of Income Class 1 (highest), for lung cancer 1.61 times (95% CI 1.43- 1.81) higher, for liver cancer 1.22 times (95% CI 1.08-1.37) higher, and for rectal cancer 1.37 times higher (95% CI 1.18-1.59). In women, the risk of stomach cancer for Income Class 5 was 1.22 times higher (95% CI 1.08-1.37) than that for Income Class 1, while for cervical cancer it was 2.47 times higher (95% CI 2.08- 2.94). In contrast, in men, Income Class 1 showed a higher risk of thyroid cancer and prostate cancer than that of Income Class 5, while, in women the same was the case for thyroid cancer.
Conclusions: The results show the relationship between family income and cancer risk differs according to type of cancer.