Educational inequality in female cancer mortality in Korea

J Korean Med Sci. 2015 Jan;30(1):1-6. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.1.1. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


We evaluated the influence of socioeconomic factors on female cancer mortality using death data from the Cause of Death Statistics and the Korean Population and Housing Census databases collected in 2001, 2006, and 2011. We estimated Relative Index of Inequality (RII) of female cancer mortality using Poisson regression analysis. RII greater than 1 indicates increased mortality risk for women at the lowest educational level compared with women at the highest educational level. The RII for cervical cancer mortality was persistently greater than 1 for the entire study period, with a gradual increase over time. Subgroup analysis stratified by age (25-44 and 45-64 yr) revealed that younger women had increased RIIs of mortality due to cervical cancer and ovarian cancer during the entire study period. Older women had higher RII only for cervical cancer mortality, but the value was much lower than that for younger women. The RII for breast cancer mortality was greater than 1 for younger women since 2006. In conclusion, socioeconomic inequality in female cancer mortality has persisted for the last decade in Korea, which was most evident for cervical cancer, and for younger women.

Keywords: Educational Status; Mortality; Neoplasms; Socioeconomic Factors; Women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / mortality*