Cancer in the Minnesota Hmong population

Julie A. Ross, Yang Xie, William R. Kiffmeyer, Sally Bushhouse, Leslie L. Robison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The Hmong are an isolated, agrarian people who settled in the mountainous regions of what today are Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. After the Vietnam War, many Hmong were relocated to the U.S. Minnesota has the second largest population (after California) of Hmong individuals. The objective of this study was to examine cancer incidence in this population, because it may indicate areas for targeted surveillance and intervention. METHODS. The Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System database was screened for Hmong surnames, and proportional incidence ratios (PIRs) were calculated for the period 1988-1999. RESULTS. Compared with all Minnesotans, the Hmong population had increased PIRs for nasopharyngeal cancer (PIR, 39.39; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 21.01-66.86), gastric cancer (PIR, 8.70; 95% CI, 5.39-13.25), hepatic cancer (PIR, 8.08; 95% CI, 3.88-14.71), and cervical cancer (PIR, 3.72; 95% CI, 2.04-6.20) and had decreased PIRs for prostate cancer, breast cancer, Hodgkin disease, and melanoma. CONCLUSIONS. The current observations have implications for cancer control interventions. In particular, an increased incidence of cervical cancer might be addressed in part by targeting culturally sensitive screening programs in the Hmong population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3076-3079
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2003


  • Cancer
  • Hmong
  • Incidence
  • Minnesota


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