Racial/ethnic and sex differences in young adult malignant brain tumor incidence by histologic type

Pablo Monterroso, Kristin J Moore, Jeannette M. Sample, Natali Sorajja, Allison M Domingues, Lindsay A Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Brain tumors are among the top four cancers in young adults. We assessed important windows of tumor development and examined the interplay of race/ethnicity, age, and sex in young adult brain tumor incidence. Methods: Using SEER 18 data (2000–2017), incidence rates were estimated by Poisson regression in individuals aged 20–39 years at diagnosis. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated by race/ethnicity, sex and age for 12 malignant histologies. Results: White incidence for all histologies was higher (White vs. Black IRR: 2.09, 95% CI: 1.94, 2.24; White vs Asian Pacific Islander IRR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.75, 2.03; White vs Hispanic IRR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.62, 1.78; White vs American Indian IRR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.14, 1.73). Minority groups had higher lymphoma incidence (White vs Black IRR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.40, White vs Hispanic HR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.68). Males had higher incidence than females for all histologies (IRR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.31, 1.41). Male rates were highest for lymphoma (male-to-female [MF] IRR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.65, 2.42) and glioblastoma (MF IRR: 1.61, 95% CI: 1.48, 1.75). The male excess in incidence was similar by race/ethnicity and increased with age (20–24-year-old IRR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.29; 35–39-year-old IRR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.35, 1.54). Conclusions: A White race and male incidence excess was observed among brain tumors. Impact: The male excess was similar by race/ethnicity and increased with age suggesting male sex may be an intrinsic risk factor for brain tumor development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102078
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32CA163184 (PI: Allen; KJM) and administered by the University of Minnesota Medical School Program in Health Disparities Research and the University of School of Public Health . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health . This work is also supported by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund (LAW).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Incidence
  • Malignant brain tumors
  • Racial disparities
  • Sex differences
  • Young adults


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