The distribution of lung cancer mortality in Cape Town and related factors

Haldenwang, B. B. (1991)

CITATION: Haldenwang, B. B. 1991. The distribution of lung cancer mortality in Cape Town and related factors. South African Medical Journal, 79:461-465.

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Lung cancer, a disease which primarily occurs in urban areas, caused 1130 deaths during 1984-1988 in Cape Town. It is the most prevalent cause of cancer death in men and is second only to breast cancer in women. It was responsible for 22,9% of all cancer deaths in Cape Town during the 3-year period. The cartographic representation of standardised mortality ratios shows that the incidence of lung cancer mortality in Cape Town is appreciably higher in men than women, and in coloured people than in white people. Coloured men are the group most at risk. Despite the important role smoking habits play in the aetiology of lung cancer, the results of the ecological analyses show that environmental factors are partly responsible for the incidence of the disease. In the case of white people demographic as well as socioeconomic variables, such as age, home language, religious affiliation and level of education, were identified by the multivariate statistical techniques as associated variables. In the case of coloured people the factors that play a role are chiefly socio-economic ones, such as unemployment, home owner status and type of housing. Positive relationship with low socio-economic status pertains only to coloured people.

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