Disaggregated mortality from gastrointestinal cancers in Asian Americans: Analysis of United States death records

Robert J. Huang, Nora Sharp, Ruth Talamoa, Kristopher Kapphahn, Vedant Sathye, Bryant Lin, Malathi Srinivasan, Latha P. Palaniappan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Asian Americans (AAs) are heterogeneous, and aggregation of diverse AA populations in national reporting may mask high-risk groups. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers constitute one-third of global cancer mortality, and an improved understanding of GI cancer mortality by disaggregated AA subgroups may inform future primary and secondary prevention strategies. Using national mortality records from the United States from 2003 to 2017, we report age-standardized mortality rates, standardized mortality ratios and annual percent change trends from GI cancers (esophageal, gastric, colorectal, liver and pancreatic) for the six largest AA subgroups (Asian Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese). Non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) are used as the reference population. We found that mortality from GI cancers demonstrated nearly 3-fold difference between the highest (Koreans, 61 per 100 000 person-years) and lowest (Asian Indians, 21 per 100 000 person-years) subgroups. The distribution of GI cancer mortality demonstrates high variability between subgroups, with Korean Americans demonstrating high mortality from gastric cancer (16 per 100 000), and Vietnamese Americans demonstrating high mortality from liver cancer (19 per 100 000). Divergent temporal trends emerged, such as increasing liver cancer burden in Vietnamese Americans, which exacerbated existing mortality differences. There exist striking differences in the mortality burden of GI cancers by disaggregated AA subgroups. These data highlight the need for disaggregated data reporting, and the importance of race-specific and personalized strategies of screening and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2954-2963
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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