Acción Estratégica Medea

Cancer incidence by geographical areas and social inequalities


Associations have been observed between socio-economic level and health related variables including mortality and to a lesser extent morbidity. Various studies have related lower socio-economic level with higher cancer incidence and mortality risk. However, in most cases these associations have not been considered causal because the socio-economic factors are also related with exposures to environmental risks. There is very little research on the association between cancer incidence and socio-economic conditions.


  • To describe the spatial distribution of socio-economic deprivation in geographical areas covered by population-based cancer registers, and its evolution between the periods 1990-1994, 1995-1999 and 2000-2004.
  • To analyse the relationship between socio-economic deprivation and cancer incidence, by census tract.
  • To examine the role of sex and age as effect modifiers in the association between socio-economic deprivation and cancer incidence.


  • Literature review.
  • Elaboration of a list of tumour sites to be analysed.
  • Geocoding of patients included in the study.
  • Analyse the relationship between indicators of cancer incidence for small geographical areas and socio-economic deprivation, taking gender inequalities into account.


Rowan S. Trends in cancer incidence by deprivation, England and Wales, 1990-2002. Health Statistics Quarterly. 2007;36:24-35.

O'Reilly G, O'Reilly D, Rosato M, Connolly S. Urban and rural variations in morbidity and mortality in Northern Ireland. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:123.