Demographic and Geographic Variations in Breast Cancer Mortality among U.S. Hispanics


This paper examines demographic and geographic differences in breast cancer mortality (1999 to 2009) between U.S. Hispanic and non-Hispanic women from different racial groups. Data were publically available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four racial groups are included: American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks/African Americans, and Whites. Age-adjusted rates were obtained for women ages 35–64 and 65 years and older. Hispanic mortality was generally lower than non-Hispanic mortality regardless of age, race, Census Region, State, or county. The lone exception was Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islanders residing in Hawaii. Despite generally lower rates, there was considerable variation in Hispanic breast cancer mortality within the country. Poverty, percentage of renters, and educational attainment were important explanatory factors. Analytic epidemiologic studies might explain social, cultural, and other reasons for the observed geographic variations. Such studies, in turn, could support a stronger theoretical basis for public health policy.