Colorectal cancer incidence and survival inequalities among labour immigrants in Belgium during 2004–2013

Katrien Vanthomme, Michael Rosskamp, Harlinde De Schutter, Hadewijch Vandenheede

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. We aim to map out differences in CRC incidence and survival between first-generation traditional labour immigrants of Italian, Turkish and Moroccan descent and native Belgians; and assess the contribution of socioeconomic position (SEP) to these differences. Individually-linked data of the 2001 Belgian Census, the Crossroads Bank for Social Security and the Belgian Cancer Registry are used. Age-standardized incidence rates and incidence rate ratios are calculated by country of origin, with and without adjusting for SEP. For CRC patients, 5-year relative survival rates and the relative excess risk for dying within five years after diagnosis are calculated by migrant origin. Lower CRC incidence was observed among immigrants compared to native Belgians, in particular among non-Western immigrants, which could not be explained by SEP. Survival inequalities were less clear, yet, after adjusting for age and stage at diagnosis and educational attainment, we observed a survival advantage among Turkish and Italian immigrant men. Health gains can be made for the native population by adapting lifestyle. The later stage at diagnosis for immigrants is of concern. Barriers regarding screening as perceived by the vulnerable groups should be identified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15727
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Research Foundation Flanders (Grant number G043517N) for funding this research. We are furthermore grateful to Kom op Tegen Kanker for financially supporting the data linkage, Statistics Belgium for the practical support, and e-health for operating as a trusted third party in the linkage process, as well as all data managers involved in cancer registration and all collaborators of the Belgian Cancer Registry.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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