An estimate of limited duration cancer prevalence in New Zealand using 'big' data

N Z Med J. 2020 May 8;133(1514):49-62.


Aims: Increases in cancer survival may increase cancer prevalence and demand for healthcare. We aimed to estimate cancer prevalence in the New Zealand population.

Methods: We used national linked health, social and census datasets from the Stats NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure to identify the number of New Zealand residents who had at least one cancer diagnosis in New Zealand. We included all primary cancers recorded on the New Zealand Cancer Registry from January 1995 to June 2013, and used the 2013 census for demographic and socioeconomic data.

Results: On 30 June 2013, 140,600 of 4,438,900 (3.2%) New Zealand residents had been diagnosed with cancer in the last 18.5 years. In ≥15 year olds, the age-standardised prevalence of cancer diagnosed 0 to ≤1 year, and >1 to ≤5 years, prior to 30 June 2013 was 0.4% and 1.1% in men and 0.3% and 0.9% in women, respectively. Over the 18.5-year period prevalence was greatest in the oldest ages, European/Other, highest qualified, highest income, least deprived, ex-smokers, and Canterbury, Bay of Plenty and Nelson/Marlborough District Health Boards (age-standardised).

Conclusions: Groups with the highest survival and the greatest access to healthcare had the highest cancer prevalences.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Big Data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ex-Smokers / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult