Epidemiology of Brain and Other CNS Tumors

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2021 Nov 24;21(12):68. doi: 10.1007/s11910-021-01152-9.


Purpose of review: Brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, while rare, cause significant morbidity and mortality across all ages. This article summarizes the current state of the knowledge on the epidemiology of brain and other CNS tumors.

Recent findings: For childhood and adolescent brain and other CNS tumors, high birth weight, non-chromosomal structural birth defects and higher socioeconomic position were shown to be risk factors. For adults, increased leukocyte telomere length, proportion of European ancestry, higher socioeconomic position, and HLA haplotypes increase risk of malignant brain tumors, while immune factors decrease risk. Although no risk factor accounting for a large proportion of brain and other CNS tumors has been discovered, the use of high throughput "omics" approaches and improved detection/measurement of environmental exposures will help us refine our current understanding of these factors and discover novel risk factors for this disease.

Keywords: Brain and other CNS tumors; Epidemiology; Incidence; Risk factor; Survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Brain Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Registries