Population Studies and Disparities - Arab American Cancer Research

Arab American Cancer Research

Distribution and Determinants of Cancer Risk, Survivorship and Outcomes in Middle Eastern/Arab Americans

Middle Eastern/Arab Americans represent a large, heterogeneous and quickly growing population in the U.S. Health statistics for this group are difficult to find because Arab is not a recognized category for race/ethnicity by the U.S. Census. Program members have developed and validated a naming algorithm to enhance research in a population that makes up a large portion of our catchment area. This algorithm has a positive predictive value of 91% and a negative predictive value of 100%. Using this approach in SEER data in metropolitan Detroit, California and New Jersey, we find that Arab American men and women had similar incidence rates across the three regions and rates were comparable to non-Hispanic, non-Arab whites. Among women, however, rates of thyroid were elevated; among men, rates of bladder cancer we elevated. Arab American men also had lower overall rates of cancer and rates of prostate and lung cancer than African Americans, but higher incidence than Hispanics. To evaluate the excess rate of thyroid cancer among Arab American women, program members compared risk factors to non-Hispanic white women with this disease. Arab American women had significantly higher exposures to dental x-rays and medical radiation than non-Hispanic white women.

  • Lead Researcher: Dr. Schwartz

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