Generation X Experiencing Larger Per-Capita Increases in Cancer Incidence

Fitted cohort patterns were higher in Generation X than Baby Boomers since increases in incidence overtook decreases in incidence
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Generation X is experiencing larger per-capita increases in the incidence of cancers than Baby Boomers, according to a study published online June 10 in JAMA Network Open.

Philip S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., and Adalberto Miranda-Filho, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, estimated invasive cancer incidence trends in successive generations. Stratum-specific semiparametric age-period-cohort models were fitted and incidence was calculated per 100,000 person-years at the reference age of 60 years for single-year birth cohorts from 1908 through 1983 (fitted cohort patterns [FCPs]). The FCPs and FCP incidence rate ratios [IRRs] were compared for Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) and Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964).

The analysis included 3.8 million individuals with invasive cancer. The researchers found that the FCP IRRs among women were significantly increased for thyroid, kidney, rectal, corpus uterine, colon, and pancreatic cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia in Generation X versus Baby Boomers (FCP IRRs, 2.76, 1.99, 1.84, 1.75, 1.56, 1.39, 1,40, and 1.27, respectively). Among men, increases were seen for thyroid, kidney, rectal, colon, and prostate cancers and leukemia (2.16, 2.14, 1.80, 1.60, 1,25, and 1.34, respectively). Among women, decreases were seen in lung and cervical cancer incidence (IRRs, 0.60 and 0.71, respectively), while among men, decreases were seen in lung, liver, and gallbladder cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (IRRs, 0.51, 0.76, 0.85, and 0.75, respectively). Increases in the incidence of cancers numerically overtook decreasing incidence in all groups except Asian or Pacific Islander men, resulting in higher FCPs in Generation X than Baby Boomers for all cancers combined.

"If the Millennials' cancer experience follows the estimated trajectory of their proxy parents, cancer incidence in the U.S. could remain unacceptably high for decades to come," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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