Human Development Inequality Index and Cancer Pattern: a Global Distributive Study


Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran E-mail:


This study aimed to quantify associations of the human development inequality (HDI) index with incidence, mortality, and mortality to incidence ratios for eight common cancers among different countries. In this ecological study, data about incidence and mortality rates of cancers was obtained from the Global Cancer Project for 169 countries. HDI indices for the same countries was obtained from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) database. The concentration index was defined as the covariance between cumulative percentage of cancer indicators (incidence, mortality and mortality to incidence ratio) and the cumulative percentage of economic indicators (country economic rank). Results indicated that incidences of cancers of liver, cervix and esophagus were mainly concentrated in countries with a low HDI index while cancers of lung, breast, colorectum, prostate and stomach were concentrated mainly in countries with a high HDI index. The same pattern was observed for mortality from cancer except for prostate cancer that was more concentrated in countries with a low HDI index. Higher MIRs for all cancers were more concentrated in countries with a low HDI index. It was concluded that patterns of cancer occurrence correlate with care disparities at the country level.