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Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease as Top Cause of Death Among U.S. Hispanics
Date:9/17/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer is now the leading cause of death among U.S. Hispanics, a new report reveals.

While death rates for both cancer and heart disease have declined among the Hispanic population in the United States, cancer has edged out heart disease as the number one cause of death, according to the report published online Sept. 17 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Heart disease remains the top cause of death among non-Hispanic whites and blacks in America.

An estimated 112,800 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and 33,200 cancer deaths will occur among U.S. Hispanics in 2012, the American Cancer Society noted in a news release about the report.

In 2009, data showed that 29,935 Hispanic people in the United States died of cancer, compared with 29,611 deaths from heart disease.

"Death rates of heart disease are declining faster because there are more interventions available for heart disease," explained study lead author Rebecca Siegel, at the American Cancer Society. "It's positive that rates of heart disease and cancer-related deaths are decreasing, but we can do more to improve access to health care for these folks and decrease rates further."

From 2000 to 2009, cancer incidence rates among U.S. Hispanics declined by 1.7 percent per year among men and 0.3 percent per year among women. By contrast, cancer incidence rates declined by 1 percent among non-Hispanic men and 0.2 percent among non-Hispanic women during the same time frame, the investigators found.

In addition, cancer death rates among Hispanics declined by 2.3 percent per year in men and 1.4 percent per year in women during that same time period, compared with yearly declines of 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent among non-Hispanic white men and women, respectively.

Hispanics are at greater risk for cancers related to infections such as liver cancer, stomach
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