Cancer incidence among Hispanic children in the United States

James D. Wilkinson, Alex Gonzalez, Brad Wohler-Torres, Lora E. Fleming, Jill MacKinnon, Edward Trapido, Jaclyn Button, Steven Peace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective. To directly compare cancer incidence among Hispanic children and non-Hispanic white children in California and Florida, two states in the United States of America that include nearly one in three Hispanic children in the country. Methods. Cross-sectional data for 1988 through 1998 pertaining to all incident pediatric cancer cases (age < 15 years) with race/ethnicity coded as either Hispanic or non-Hispanic white came from the Florida Cancer Data System database and the California Cancer Registry database. The results were expressed as age-standardized incidence rates, standardized to the world standard million population. Hispanic rates and non-Hispanic white rates were compared using standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs.). Results. The SIR for all cancers for Hispanic children compared to non-Hispanic white children was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.05). For selected tumor types, SIRs indicated higher incidences among Hispanic children for leukemia (SIR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.19, 1.34), Hodgkin's lymphoma (SIR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.54), and germ cell tumors (SIR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.34, 1.96). There were lower incidences for the Hispanic children for central nervous system tumors (SIR = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.78) and for sympathetic nervous system tumors (SIR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.87). In terms of interstate differences, the incidence of lymphoma, central nervous system tumors, sympathetic nervous system tumors, and malignant bone tumors was highest among Hispanic youth in Florida; the incidence of hepatic tumors was highest among Hispanic youth in California. Conclusions. While the overall cancer incidence rate among Hispanic children was similar to that for non-Hispanic white children, significant differences for specific tumor types were identified. Since Hispanic ethnicity may be a confounder for other cancer risk factors (e.g., familial, socioeconomic, or environmental), it is recommended that future research into Hispanic pediatric cancer risk investigate these risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Hispanic Americans
  • Neoplasms
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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