More Cancer Deaths in Asians than Recognised

A closer look at specific Asian origins
reveils more about cancer risks
© Hemera

“Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, non-lung cancer death rates, like lung cancer death rates, correlate very closely with their smoke exposures,” said Bruce N. Leistikow, associate professor of public health sciences at UC Davis. Leistikow said the new study yields three conclusions about Asian and Pacific Islander Americans: Smoke exposure can account for the vast disparities in cancer death rates among gender-ethnic groups; it can account for more than a third of the overall cancer death rate for females and the great majority of the male rate; and it may cause more non-lung than lung cancer deaths.

In earlier studies, Leistikow and his colleagues reported similar associations between smoke exposure and non-lung cancer death rates in African American males. In the new study, Leistikow and his colleagues found that Korean American males in California had the highest smoking-attributable cancer burden of any of the Asian and Pacific Islander American groups studied, with 71 percent of their cancer death rate linked to tobacco smoke exposure.

South Asian females in California had the lowest burden, with almost zero percent of cancer deaths attributable to smoking. South Asians include people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The researchers noted especially worrisome trends in three groups: South Asian males in California, whose lung cancer death rate doubled between 1988 and 2001, and Filipina and Korean females in California, whose lung cancer mortality has been climbing four to five percent per year.

“Based on our work, we can predict that these trends will be accompanied by parallel increases in non-lung cancer deaths,” Leistikow said. “Many lives can be saved by strengthening tobacco control measures - cigarette taxes, counter-advertising, smoking bans, linguistically and culturally appropriate smoking prevention messages, and quit-smoking programs.”

MEDICA.de; Source: University of California, Davis