Inequalities in preventable cancer deaths

31 October 2016

Andrea Teng presents work on cardiovascular disease at Kōrero Tahi

Science Leadership Team member, Professor Tony Blakely and his team at University of Otago, Wellington, have just published a paper on Ethnic inequalities in cancer incidence and mortality based on New Zealand Census data. Our photo shows lead author, Dr Andrea Teng, presenting work on cardiovascular disease at our Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi symposium.

In Public Health Expert blog Andrea Teng outlines some of the study’s findings.

She describes a changing pattern of ethnic inequalities in cancer, and in particular harmful trends have been identified  for:

  • Obesity-related cancers
  • Tobacco-related cancers
  • Infection-related cancers

The blog asks why some preventable cancer deaths in Māori and Pacific peoples are increasing.

The data shows some good news and some bad news about these trends. The most striking aspect of this research is in the major increases in inequalities for obesity-related cancers. The study calls for action to address New Zealand’s obesogenic environment.

The study reaffirms that for Māori, tobacco remains the most influential contributor to the disparities in cancer deaths.

The impact and prevalence of infection-related cancers (such as stomach cancer) for Māori and Pacific peoples, points to population screening as a potentially effective tool.

The blog concludes that “Ethnic inequalities in cancer are largely driven by the social determinants of health, flowing through to risk factors such as tobacco, obesity and infections.”

Read the full blog:

Why are some preventable cancer deaths in Māori and pacific peoples increasing? (Public Health Expert blog)

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