Cancer incidence and mortality among Aboriginal people living on reserves and northern villages in Quebec, 1988-2004

Article English OPEN
Louchini, Rabiâ ; Beaupré, Michéle (2008)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v67i5.18355
  • Subject: cancer, incidence, mortality, Aboriginal

Objectives. Little information is available on the incidence and mortality of cancer among the Aboriginal population in the Province of Québec, Canada. Cancer was likely rare in this population historically, but recent life-style changes suggest that this may no longer be the case. The purpose of this study was to estimate incidence and mortality rates among Aboriginal people living on reserves and in northern villages in Québec during the period 1988–2004, and to compare these estimates with those of the general population. Study design. Incidence and mortality data were extracted respectively from the provincial tumour registry and death file. Methods. Aboriginal people were identified based on geographic residence codes. Population data were taken from the Canadian census of 1991, 1996 and 2001. Incidence and mortality rates were calculated and age-standardized according to the World Standard Population. Results. The Aboriginal incidence and mortality rates for cancer, all sites combined, was 321.8 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval 304.5–339.2) and 160.3 per 100,000 (95% CI 147.8–172.8), respectively. These rates are not significantly different from those of the general population of Québec. However, there are differences according to cancer site and sex. Aboriginal men had a higher risk for liver, lung and kidney cancers and a lower risk for prostate, bladder, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancers, whereas Aboriginal women had a higher risk for colorectal, lung, cervix and kidney cancers, and a lower risk for breast, uterus, bladder, brain, leukemia, stomach and pancreas cancers. Conclusions. Aboriginal people in Québec now experience an overall cancer risk comparable to the general population. The observed differences in specific sites suggest exposure to unique environmental risk factors. Basic surveillance specific to this population is necessary for the planning and evaluation of cancer preventive and curative services.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2008; 67(5):445–451)Keywords: cancer, incidence, mortality, Aboriginal
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