Racial and gender disparities in incidence of lung and bronchus cancer in the United States: A longitudinal analysis

Academic Article


  • Background: Certain population groups in the United States carry a disproportionate burden of cancer. This work models and analyzes the dynamics of lung and bronchus cancer age-adjusted incidence rates by race (White and Black), gender (male and female), and prevalence of daily smoking in 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and across eight U.S. geographic regions from 1999 to 2012. Methods: Data, obtained from the U.S. Cancer Statistics Section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflect approximately 77% of the U.S. population and constitute a representative sample for making inferences about incidence rates in lung and bronchus cancer (henceforth lung cancer). A longitudinal linear mixed-effects model was used to study lung cancer incidence rates and to estimate incidence rate as a function of time, race, gender, and prevalence of daily smoking. Results: Between 1999 and 2012, age-adjusted incidence rates in lung cancer have decreased in all states and regions. However, racial and gender disparities remain. Whites continue to have lower age-adjusted incidence rates for this cancer than Blacks in all states and in five of the eight U.S. geographic regions. Disparities in incidence rates between Black and White men are significantly larger than those between Black and White women, with Black men having the highest incidence rate of all subgroups. Assuming that lung cancer incidence rates remain within reasonable range, the model predicts that the gender gap in the incidence rate for Whites would disappear by mid-2018, and for Blacks by 2026. However, the racial gap in lung cancer incidence rates among Black and White males will remain. Among all geographic regions, the Mid-South has the highest overall lung cancer incidence rate and the highest incidence rate for Whites, while the Midwest has the highest incidence rate for Blacks. Between 1999 and 2012, there was a downward trend in the prevalence of daily smokers in both genders. However, males have significantly higher rates of cigarette smoking than females at all time points. The highest and lowest prevalence of daily smoking are found in the Mid-South and New England, respectively. There was a significant correlation between lung cancer incidence rates and smoking prevalence in all geographic regions, indicating a strong influence of cigarette smoking on regional lung cancer incidence rates. Conclusion: Although age-adjusted incidence rates in lung cancer have decreased throughout the U.S., racial and gender disparities remain. This longitudinal model can help health professionals and policy makers make predictions of age-adjusted incidence rates for lung cancer in the U.S. in the next five to ten years.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tabatabai MA; Kengwoung-Keumo JJ; Oates GR; Guemmegne JT; Akinlawon A; Ekadi G; Fouad MN; Singh KP
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 9