The Association between Cancer Incidence and Family Income: Analysis of Korean National Health Insurance Cancer Registration Data


Background: Economic status is known to be directly or indirectly related to cancer incidence since itaffects accessibility to health-related social resources, preventive medical checkups, and lifestyle. This studyinvestigates the relationship between cancer incidence and family income in Korea.
Methods:Using theKorean National Health Insurance cancer registration data in 2009, the relationship between their familyincome class and cancer risk was analyzed. The age-standardized incidence rates of the major cancers werecalculated for men and women separately. After adjusting for age, residential area, and number of familymembers, cancer risks for major cancers according to family income class were estimated using a logisticregression model.
Results: In men, the risk of stomach cancer for Income Class 5 (lowest) was 1.12 times(95% CI 1.02-1.23) higher than that of Income Class 1 (highest), for lung cancer 1.61 times (95% CI 1.43-1.81) higher, for liver cancer 1.22 times (95% CI 1.08-1.37) higher, and for rectal cancer 1.37 times higher(95% CI 1.18-1.59). In women, the risk of stomach cancer for Income Class 5 was 1.22 times higher (95%CI 1.08-1.37) than that for Income Class 1, while for cervical cancer it was 2.47 times higher (95% CI 2.08-2.94). In contrast, in men, Income Class 1 showed a higher risk of thyroid cancer and prostate cancer thanthat of Income Class 5, while, in women the same was the case for thyroid cancer.
Conclusions: The resultsshow the relationship between family income and cancer risk differs according to type of cancer.