Risk of cancer death among white, black, and hispanic populations in South Florida

Paulo S. Pinheiro, Karen E. Callahan, Tulay Koru-Sengu, Justine Ransdell, Layla Bouzoubaa, Clyde P. Brown, Erin Kobetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background The cancer burden in South Florida, with a population of more than 6 million with a heavily Hispanic and large Afro-Caribbean population, has not been quantified. Methods We analyzed 2012-2016 cancer mortality data from South Florida for white, Hispanic, and black populations with disaggregation for Cuban, Puerto Rican, South American, African American, and Afro-Caribbean groups. We calculated cancer site-specific and allsites combined age-adjusted mortality rates, and we used negative binomial regression to determine mortality rate ratios to compare South Florida's cancer mortality rates with those of the rest of the nation. Results We analyzed 53,837 cancer deaths. Per 100,000 population, cancer mortality rates in South Florida were similar among white (173 per 100,000) and black (176 per 100,000) men and among white and black women (133 for both), and they were lowest among Hispanic men (151 per 100,000) and women (93 per 100,000). However, compared with their counterparts nationally, Hispanic residents in South Florida had higher cancer mortality rates, largely driven by Cuban residents, and mortality rates among white and black residents, especially male residents, were substantially lower. Liver cancer rates were high among white and Puerto Rican "baby boomers"; lung cancer mortality was low among all groups except Cuban men; cervical cancer was high among white, black, and Puerto Rican women. Conclusion Cancer patterns are not monochromatic in all US regions; South Florida is distinctive. Meeting the needs of an aging diverse population presents challenges for all major metropolitan areas. Expanding surveillance, increasing minority participation in clinical trials, and investing in culturally specific community-based health promotion must continue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number180529
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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