Background: Few studies have compared ovarian cancer rates between different ethnic groups in the same country. The aim of this study was to describe ethnic patterns in the incidence and mortality of ovarian cancer in New Zealand, and to investigate ethnic and socioeconomic differences in the grade and stage of ovarian
Methods: Data on all women registered with ovarian
cancer on the New Zealand Cancer Registry (1993-2004) were analysed. Population data were taken from the 1996 and 2001 census. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations between ethnicity, deprivation and
Results: Age-standardised incidence rates were highest in Pacific women, intermediate in Maori women, and lowest in non-Maori, non-Pacific women. Age-standardised mortality rates showed the same pattern. Ovarian cancer subtypes differed by ethnic group. There was no
significant association between socioeconomic deprivation and tumour grade or stage. Age-adjusted models showed that Maori women were more likely to have well differentiated
tumours and less likely to present at a later
stage compared to non-Maori, non-Pacific women. These patterns were partly explained by socioeconomic deprivation, and were not apparent for Pacific women.
Conclusions: Pacific and Maori women experience
higher incidence of ovarian cancer and mortality, compared to non-Maori, non-Pacific women. Maori women seemed to have better prognostic factors (local stage and well differentiated
tumours) than non-Maori, non-Pacific women.
More work is needed to improve current cancer prevention strategies, particularly in Pacific women.
Firestone, R. T., Wong, K. C., Ellison-Loschmann, L., Pearce, N., & Jeffreys, M. (2009). Characteristics of ovarian cancer in women residing in Aotearoa, New Zealand: 1993-2004. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63(10), 814-819. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.081497
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