In a newly published article in Cancer Causes Control, Katrien Vanthomme, Hadewijch Vandenheede, Paulien Hagedoorn and Sylvie Gadeyne assess socioeconomic inequalities in site-specific cancer mortality in Belgian women. The results reveal persisting socioeconomic inequalities in total and site-specific cancer mortality.
Purpose According to the ‘‘fundamental cause theory’’, emerging knowledge on health-enhancing behaviours and technologies results in persisting and even widening health disparities, favouring the higher socioeconomic groups. This study aims to assess (trends in) socioeconomic inequalities in site-speciﬁc cancer mortality in Belgian women.
Methods Data were derived from record linkage between the Belgian census and register data on mortality for 1991–1997 and 2001–2008 for all Belgian female inhabitants aged 50–79 years. Both absolute and relative inequalities by education and housing conditions were calculated.
Results The results revealed persisting socioeconomic inequalities in total and site-speciﬁc cancer mortality. As expected, these inequalities were larger for the more preventable cancer sites. Generally, socioeconomic inequalities remained quite stable between the 1990s and the 2000s, although for some preventable cancer sites (e.g., uterus and oesophagus) a signiﬁcant increase in inequality was observed.
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