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Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans Have Higher Cancer Rates With Move to U.S.

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08/06/2009 03:01 PM
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Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans Have Higher Cancer Rates With Move to U.S.
Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Hispanics who move to the U.S. are at greater risk for getting cancer than those living in their countries of origin, whether they’re from Mexico, Puerto Rico or Cuba, according to a study.

Cancer rates of Hispanic immigrants living in Florida were 40 percent higher than those of compatriots in their home countries, said researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Hispanics had overall lower rates of cancer than non-Hispanics, according to a study published today in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

More than 30,000 Hispanics were diagnosed with cancer in Florida from 1999 to 2001, the time period analyzed in the study. Greater smoking rates, different reproductive trends in the U.S., such as a higher age of first birth and increased use of hormone therapy, and better access to certain screening tests, may help explain the discrepancy between the Hispanic immigrants and those in their home countries, the study said.

“Changed lifestyles may be cause for changes in risk,” said University of Miami researcher Paulo Pinheiro, the study’s lead author.

The study is the first in the U.S. to assess cancer rates for Hispanic subpopulations, Pinheiro said. Florida’s Hispanic diversity allowed researchers to compare patterns of cancer between Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Florida and Hispanics living in their countries of origins.

The research analyzed 301,944 cancer cases of Florida residents from 1999 to 2001.

Comparative Rates

Puerto Ricans showed the highest cancer rates of all Hispanic groups in Florida with an average of 574.8 cases per 100,000 men and 412.4 cases per 100,000 women. Mexicans had the lowest rates with an average of 376.8 per 100,000 men and 318 per 100,000 women.

Cubans ranked second behind Puerto Ricans with an average of 557.8 cases per 100,000 men and 380.8 per 100,000 women. Cubans had higher rates among the groups of illnesses linked to tobacco, such as lung, bladder and kidney cancers, the report said.

“We always talk about Hispanics as a whole group,” Pinheiro said. “But when we separate the different subpopulations, there are significant differences.”

The findings support research from the 1980s that compared patterns of cancer in Puerto Rico with Hispanics in New York City. Both studies suggest that U.S. Puerto Ricans are more susceptible to most malignancies, including liver cancer in males and cervical cancer in females, according to the report.

“It’s interesting, because it suggests that there is constancy in the change of patterns,” said Pinheiro. “Now we have two findings in two different decades from two different places.”

This research may help educate Hispanics on healthier living and lead scientists to research Hispanic subpopulations within the U.S. more often, Pinheiro said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne Ferrer in New York at aferrer1@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: August 6, 2009 12:51 EDT
[link to www.bloomberg.com]
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08/07/2009 12:51 AM
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Re: Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans Have Higher Cancer Rates With Move to U.S.
Gee, it wouldnt be the toxic industrial waste sodium flouride that is getting pumped into our water now would it? Or perhaps its is the chemicals people are now being sprayed with daily.