More Hispanics in U.S. die of cancer than cardiovascular disease

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 1, 2012

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Cancer has surpassed cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death among Hispanics of all ages in the United States, according to an American Cancer Society report published online Sept. 17 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

In 2009, 29,935 (21.1%) people of Hispanic origin died of cancer, and 29,611 (20.9%) died of cardiovascular disease, according to the most recent data (link).

By comparison, 25% of non-Hispanic whites died of cardiovascular disease in 2009, and 23.5% died of cancer.

Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., accounting for 16.3% of the population in 2010. That year, 26.6% of Hispanics lived in poverty, and nearly one in three was uninsured.

Researchers examined mortality data from multiple sources, including the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program and the National Center for Health Statistics. They found that Hispanics have higher rates of deaths for cancers of the cervix, gallbladder, liver and stomach compared with whites.

Even though cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics, the rates of cancer deaths declined between 2000 and 2009 by 2.3% each year in Hispanic men and 1.4% each year in Hispanic women, the report said.

Effective strategies for decreasing cancer risk among Hispanics include community-based intervention to increase cancer screening and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors, according to the report.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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