Racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric cancer incidence among children and young adults in the United States by single year of age

Erin L. Marcotte, Allison M. Domingues, Jeannette M. Sample, Michaela R. Richardson, Logan G. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Incidence rates of pediatric cancers in the United States are typically reported in 5-year age groups, obscuring variation by single year of age. Additionally, racial and ethnic variation in incidence is typically presented in broad categories rather than by narrow age ranges. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 18 data (2000-2017) were examined to calculate frequencies and age-adjusted incidence rates among individuals aged birth to 39 years. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated as the measure of association for rate comparisons by race and Hispanic origin overall and by single year of age. Results: Several histologic types showed substantial variation in race/ethnicity-specific and overall rates by single year of age. Overall, Black children and young adults experienced substantially decreased incidence of acute lymphoid leukemia (IRR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.49-0.55) compared to Whites, and this decreased incidence was strongest at ages 1 through 7 years and 16 through 20 years. Hispanic individuals experienced decreased overall incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma (IRR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.48-0.52) and astrocytoma (IRR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.52-0.56) and increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (IRR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.42-1.51) compared to non-Hispanic Whites, and the increased risk was strongest at ages 10 through 23 years. Substantial decreased risk across many tumor types was also observed for Asian/Pacific Islanders and American Indian/Alaska Natives. Conclusions: Examination of incidence rates for pediatric cancers by narrow age groups may provide insights regarding etiological differences in subgroups. Additionally, variation in age-specific incidence rates by race and ethnicity may enable hypothesis generation on drivers of disparities observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3651-3663
Number of pages13
Issue number19
Early online dateJun 21 2021
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (T32 CA099936) and the Children's Cancer Research Fund, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Cancer Society


  • childhood cancer
  • disparities
  • epidemiology
  • incidence
  • pediatric
  • race and ethnicity
  • trends

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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