Incidence rates of acute promyelocytic leukemia among Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and non-Hispanic whites in the United States

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Abstract

Despite significant improvements in the prognosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia brought about by therapeutic advances, understanding of the epidemiology of acute promyelocytic leukemia remains limited. Earlier reports have suggested that Hispanics may have an increased incidence of acute promyelocytic leukemia, but no systematic analysis of national data has yet been reported. We performed a retrospective cohort study, using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute from 1992–2001 in order to compare leukemia incidence rates as a function of race and ethnicity. We identified 709 cases of acute promyelocytic leukemia and analyzed incidence rates by race and sex. Hispanics were not found to have greater lifetime incidence rates than whites, with an incidence relative rate (IRR) of 0.86 that of whites (P=0.17). The age distribution among Hispanics was significantly different from non-Hispanic whites, with greater incidence rates for children ages 1–19 years (IRR=1.9, P=0.02) and adult ages 20–44 years (IRR=1.6, P=0.004). Blacks had lower lifetime incidence rates than non-Hispanic whites (IRR=0.75, P=0.04), Hispanics (IRR=0.64, P=0.007), and Asians (IRR=0.67, P=0.03). Asians did not differ from non-Hispanic whites in lifetime or age-specific incidence rates. These results indicate that while US Hispanics do not have greater lifetime incidence rates of acute promyelocytic leukemia, blacks have lower incidence rates of acute promyelocytic leukemia than Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and Asians.

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