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Educational differences in incidence of cancer in Lithuania, 2001-2009: evidence from census-linked cancer registry data

Smailytė, G., Jasilionis, D., Vincerževskienė, I., Krilaviciute, A., Ambrozaitiene, D., Stankūnienė, V., Shkolnikov, V. M.

European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 24:3, 261-266 (2015)

DOI:10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000036

Keywords: Lithuania

Abstract

Objective: Using population-based census-linked cancer incidence data to identify patterns of educational differentials in cancer risk by detailed sites of cancer in Lithuania. Methods: The study is based on the linkage between all records of the 2001 population census, all records from Lithuanian Cancer Registry (cancer incidence), and all death and emigration records from Statistics Lithuania for the period between 6 April 2001 and 31 December 2009. The study population (cohort) refer to all permanent residents of Lithuania aged 30-74 years on the census day (April 6, 2001) Results: The study found stat cancers of the lip, mouth and pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, larynx, urinary bladder, pancreas and lung for males and cancers of cervix uteri, lung, and colon for females show a statistically significant inverse educational gradient with excess incidence in the lowest educational group. At the same time, a reversed cancer risk gradient with the highest incidence for the higher education group was observed for thyroid cancer, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. This group also includes prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and multiple myeloma for males and cancer of pancreas, breast cancer, cancer of colon, and cancer of uterus for females. Conclusions: The association between education and cancer incidence seen in this study reflect concordance between social status and lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer. Cancer awareness in society also has contributed to the observed higher cancer risk which is usually promoted more by patients of high education. Keywords: cancer incidence, education, record-linkage, cancer registry, census, Lithuania

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