Rates of death from cancer in the United States dropped by 20% between 1980 and 2014, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
However, these gains were not distributed equally across the country. In 160 of the United States’ approximately 3,000 counties, cancer mortality rose substantially during the same time period.
The disparities in mortality between some counties were stark, the researchers found. In 2014, for example, the county with the highest overall cancer mortality had about 7 times as many cancer deaths per 100,000 residents as the county with the lowest overall cancer mortality.
Although disparities in cancer incidence and mortality have been well documented, Ali Mokdad, Ph.D., who led the study, said that the magnitude of the disparities seen in this study “was a surprise.”
The findings were published January 24 in JAMA.
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