Cancer death rates among Black people declined over time, but remain higher than other racial and ethnic groups

From 1999 to 2019, rates of cancer deaths declined steadily among Black people in the United States. Nevertheless, in 2019, Black people still had considerably higher rates of cancer death than people in other racial and ethnic groups, a large epidemiologic study has found. The study was led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the findings appeared May 19 in JAMA Oncology.

“Even though there has been a decline in cancer mortality nationally among Black people, they continued to bear a higher cancer burden overall than all other racial and ethnic groups studied,” said Wayne R. Lawrence, Dr.P.H., of the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, who led the study.

Dr. Lawrence and his colleagues used death certificate data from the National Center for Health Statistics to analyze age-adjusted cancer death rates by age, sex, and cancer site among non-Hispanic Black people ages 20 and older in the United States. They then compared cancer death rates in 2019 among Black men and women with those in other racial and ethnic groups.

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This page was last updated on Friday, June 3, 2022