-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. lung cancer death
rates are higher among blacks than whites, and highest among blacks
who live in the most segregated counties, a new study finds.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the nation,
and blacks have the highest lung cancer incidence and death
In this study, researchers analyzed national data to examine the
relationship between lung cancer death, race and segregation.
The lung cancer death rates between 2003 and 2007 were about 59
percent for blacks and 52 percent for whites per 100,000 people,
according to Dr. Awori Hayanga, of the University of Washington,
Seattle, and colleagues.
The investigators also found that 32 percent of the U.S.
population lives in counties with high segregation, 40 percent in
counties with moderate segregation, and 28 percent in counties with
low segregation. Segregation was highest in the Northeast, Midwest
and South, and lowest in the Northwest.
Blacks living in counties with the highest levels of segregation
had a 10 percent higher lung cancer death rate than those in
counties with the lowest levels of segregation. This was true
regardless of blacks' socioeconomic status.
This increased risk in highly segregated counties was not seen
in whites. Whites in the most segregated counties had a 3 percent
lower lung cancer death rate than those in the least segregated
counties, according to the study in the January issue of the
The researchers noted that counties with high levels of
segregation tend to have more poverty and social problems, and less
access to health care. Public health efforts, such as quit-smoking
and early cancer-screening programs, should become priorities in
these counties in order to reduce lung cancer death rates, they
suggested in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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