Measuring Socioeconomic Disparities in Cancer Incidence in Tehran, 2008

  • Rohani-Rasaf, Marzieh (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Moradi-Lakeh, Maziar (Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Research Centre, Knowledge Utilization Research Centre, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Ramezani, Rashid (Cancer Department, Ministry of Health and Medical Education) ;
  • Asadi-Lari, Mohsen (Oncopathology Research Centre, Tehran University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Background: Health disparities exist among and within countries, while developing and low income countries suffer more. The aim of this study was to quantify cancer disparities with regard to socioeconomic position (SEP) in 22 districts of Tehran, Iran. Method: According to the national cancer registry, 7599 new cancer cases were recorded within 22 districts of Tehran in 2008. Based on combined data from census and a population-based health equity study (Urban HEART), socioeconomic position (SEP) was calculated for each district. Index of disparity, absolute and relative concentration indices (ACI & RCI) were used for measuring disparities in cancer incidence. Results: The overall cancer age standardised rate (ASR) was 117.2 per 100,000 individuals (120.4 for men and 113.5 for women). Maximum ASR in both genders was seen in districts 6, 3, 1 and 2. Breast, colorectal, stomach, skin and prostate were the most common cancers. Districts with higher SEP had higher ASR (r=0.9, p<0.001). Positive ACI and RCI indicated that cancer cases accumulated in districts with high SEP. Female disparity was greater than for men in all measures. Breast, colorectal, prostate and bladder ASR ascended across SEP groups. Negative ACI and RCI in cervical and skin cancers in women indicate their aggregation in lower SEP groups. Breast cancer had the highest absolute disparities measure. Conclusion: This report provides an appropriate guide and new evidence on disparities across geographical, demographic and particular SEP groups. Higher ASR in specific districts warrants further research to investigate the background predisposing factors.


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