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Living in U.S. May Raise Hispanics' Cancer Risk
Date:8/6/2009

Lifestyle changes up the odds for Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For Hispanics who move to the United States, the good life comes at a price: A new study finds they increase their risk for cancer by 40 percent.

Living the American lifestyle is probably to blame, say researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Of three Hispanic subgroups they studied -- Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans -- Puerto Ricans had the highest cancer rates and Mexicans the lowest. The risk of cancer among Cubans was close to that of whites, the researchers found.

The report is published in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study took place in Florida, home to about 2.7 million Hispanics and an ideal setting for a study on immigration and cancer, the authors noted.

"There is no reason to believe that the people who came to Florida from the Latin countries are different from those who stayed," said Dr. Paulo S. Pinheiro, a researcher in the university's department of epidemiology. "Since there is no genetic difference, if there is a difference it will be in the lifestyles they adopt once they come to the United States."

Using data from the Florida cancer registry for 1999 to 2001 and the 2000 U.S. Census, the team looked at cancer rates in the places of origin and compared them with cancer rates for those groups in Florida.

Overall, Hispanics still had lower cancer rates than whites and blacks in Florida, but the researchers found that Cubans and Puerto Ricans quickly acquired higher risk for diet-related cancers. Cuban men had more tobacco-related cancers than seen in their homeland, Puerto Rican men had higher rates of liver cancer, and Mexican women had higher rates of cervical cancer, the researchers noted.

Among Cubans and Mexicans in Florida, the risk for colore
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