Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jnmaLink to Publisher's site
J Natl Med Assoc. 1982 March; 74(3): 253–258.
PMCID: PMC2552850

Rising Lung Cancer Death Rates Among Black Men: The Importance of Occupation and Social Class


From 1950 to 1977 the age-adjusted cancer death rates for nonwhite men in the United States rose an astonishing 63.2 percent, while rates for white men increased 22.2 percent and fell slightly for women of both races. The bulk of this increase can be accounted for by cancer of the lung. As a serious health problem that is increasing in severity, cancer in black men deserves close attention and definitive action. This discussion focuses on basic epidemiological relationships in the origins of this epidemic, particularly in regard to the relative importance of occupation, cigarette smoking, and social class.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (775K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cooper R, Stamler J, Dyer A, Garside D. The decline in mortality from coronary heart disease, U.S.A., 1968--1975. J Chronic Dis. 1978;31(12):709–720. [PubMed]
  • Soltero I, Liu K, Cooper R, Stamler J, Garside D. Trends in mortality from cerebrovascular diseases in the United States, 1960 to 1975. Stroke. 1978 Nov-Dec;9(6):549–558. [PubMed]
  • Fontaine SA, Henschke UK, Leffall LD, Jr, Mason CH, Reinhold AW, Schneider R, White JE. Comparison of the cancer deaths in the black and white U.S.A. population from 1949 to 1967. Med Ann Dist Columbia. 1972 May;41(5):293–298. [PubMed]
  • Seidman H. Cancer death rates by site and sex for religious and socioeconomic groups in New York City. Environ Res. 1970 Jul;3(3):234–250. [PubMed]
  • Henschke UK, Leffall LD, Jr, Mason CH, Reinhold AW, Schneider RL, White JE. Alarming increase of the cancer mortality in the U.S. black population (1950-1967). Cancer. 1973 Apr;31(4):763–768. [PubMed]
  • Mancuso TF, Sterling TD. Lung cancer among black and white migrants in the U.S. J Natl Med Assoc. 1975 Mar;67(2):106–102. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Burbank F, Fraumeni JF., Jr U.S. cancer mortality: nonwhite predominance. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1972 Sep;49(3):649–659. [PubMed]
  • Haenszel W, Correa P. Developments in the epidemiology of stomach cancer over the past decade. Cancer Res. 1975 Nov;35(11 Pt 2):3452–3459. [PubMed]
  • Bross ID, Viadana E, Hooten L. Occupational cancer in men exposed to dust and other environmental hazards. Arch Environ Health. 1978 Nov-Dec;33(6):300–307. [PubMed]
  • DUNN JE, Jr, LINDEN G, BRESLOW L. Lung cancer mortality experience of men in certain occupations in California. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1960 Oct;50:1475–1487. [PubMed]
  • Viadana E, Bross ID, Houten L. Cancer experience of men exposed to inhalation of chemicals or to combustion products. J Occup Med. 1976 Dec;18(12):787–792. [PubMed]
  • Sterling TD, Weinkam JJ. Smoking patterns by occupation, industry, sex, and race. Arch Environ Health. 1978 Nov-Dec;33(6):313–317. [PubMed]
  • Lloyd JW. Long-term mortality study of steelworkers. V. Respiratory cancer in coke plant workers. J Occup Med. 1971 Feb;13(2):53–68. [PubMed]
  • Blot WJ, Harrington JM, Toledo A, Hoover R, Heath CW, Jr, Fraumeni JF., Jr Lung cancer after employment in shipyards during World War II. N Engl J Med. 1978 Sep 21;299(12):620–624. [PubMed]
  • Houten L, Bross ID, Viadana E, Sonnesso G. Occupational cancer in men exposed to metals. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1977;91:93–102. [PubMed]
  • Higgins MW, Kjelsberg M, Metzner H. Characteristics of smokers and nonsmokers in Tecumseh, Michigan. I. The distribution of smoking habits in persons and families and their relationship to social characteristics. Am J Epidemiol. 1967 Jul;86(1):45–59. [PubMed]
  • Sterling TD, Weinkam JJ. Smoking characteristics by type of employment. J Occup Med. 1976 Nov;18(11):743–754. [PubMed]
  • Waggoner DE, Newell GR. Regional convergence of cancer mortality rates over time in the United States, 1940-1960. Am J Epidemiol. 1971 Feb;93(2):79–83. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the National Medical Association are provided here courtesy of National Medical Association