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Racial and ethnic differences in sarcoma incidence are independent of census-tract socioeconomic status.

  • Diessner, Brandon J1
  • Weigel, Brenda J2
  • Murugan, Paari3
  • Zhang, Lin4
  • Poynter, Jenny N5
  • Spector, Logan G6
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Epidemiology/Clinical Research, University of Minnesota [email protected]
  • 2 Pediatrics, Division of Pediaric Hematology/Oncology, University of Minnesota.
  • 3 Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota.
  • 4 University of Minnesota.
  • 5 Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.
  • 6 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of Minnesota.
Published Article
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
American Association for Cancer Research
Publication Date
Sep 14, 2020
DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0520
PMID: 32928933


Epidemiological analyses of sarcoma are limited by the heterogeneity and rarity of the disease. Utilizing population-based surveillance data enabled us to evaluate the contribution of census tract-level socioeconomic status (CT-SES) and race/ethnicity on sarcoma incidence rates. We utilized the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program to evaluate associations between CT-SES and race/ethnicity on the incidence rates of sarcoma. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 99% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated from quasi-Poisson models. All models were stratified by broad age groups (pediatric: < 20 years, Adult: 20 - 65 years, Older adult: 65 + years) and adjusted for sex, age and year of diagnosis. Within each age group, we conducted analyses stratified by somatic genome (fusion positive and fusion negative sarcomas) and for subtypes with > 200 total cases. A p-value less than 0.01 was considered statistically significant. We included 55,415 sarcoma cases in 35 sarcoma subtype-age group combinations. Increasing CT-SES was statistically significantly associated with 11 subtype-age group combinations, primarily in the older age group strata (8 subtypes), while malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in adults were associated with decreasing CT-SES. Nearly every sarcoma subtype-age group combination displayed racial/ethnic disparities in incidence that were independent of CT-SES. We found race/ethnicity to be more frequently associated with sarcoma incidence than CT-SES. Our findings suggest that genetic variation associated with ancestry may play a stronger role than area-level SES-related factors in the etiology of sarcoma. These findings provide direction for future etiologic studies of sarcomas. Copyright ©2020, American Association for Cancer Research.

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