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1.  Young Adult Former Ever Smokers: The Role of Type of Smoker, Quit Attempts, Quit Aids, Attitudes/Beliefs, and Demographics 
Preventive medicine  2013;57(5):10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.028.
Objective
Young adults who smoke are often nondaily users who either quit or transition into dependent smokers. Further, this age group often has been considered an extension of the adult population. This study aims to examine young adult former ever smokers to understand factors associated with their stopping smoking.
Method
Telephone interviews were conducted in 2010 with 4,401 young adults in Florida. We examined the association between former ever smokers and sociodemographics, smoking behavior, quit attempts, quit aids, and attitudes/beliefs about smoking.
Results
Thirty-seven percent of young adults were former smokers, 20% were current smokers, and 43% were never smokers. Former smokers were more likely to be female, situational smokers (compared to occasional or established), more likely to have stopped smoking without acknowledging making a quit attempt, less likely to have used a quit aid, and less likely to display pro-tobacco attitudes/beliefs.
Conclusion
Young adult former and current smokers have unique patterns of smoking and stopping smoking. Young adults may require novel intervention techniques to promote prevention and cessation based on these unique smoking patterns. Future research is needed to understand motivations to quit smoking among young adults.
doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.028
PMCID: PMC3855223  PMID: 24021991
Young Adults; Smoking; Tobacco Use Cessation
2.  Geographical Variation in Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older US Adults, 1997–2010 
Introduction
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality; however, its geographical variation in older adults in the United States has not been characterized. We compared HRQOL among older adults in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia using the Health and Activities Limitation Index (HALex). We also compared the HRQOL of 4 regions: South, West, Midwest, and Northeast.
Methods
We analyzed pooled data from 1997 through 2010 from the National Health Interview Survey for participants aged 65 or older. HALex scores (which range from 0 to 1.00, with higher values indicating better health) were calculated by combining data on participants’ perceived health and activity limitations. We ranked states by mean HALex score and performed multivariable logistic regression analyses to compare low scores (defined as scores in the lowest quintile) among US regions after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.
Results
Older residents of Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia had the lowest mean HALex scores (range, 0.62–0.68); residents of Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont had the highest mean scores (range, 0.78–0.79). Residents in the Northeast (odds ratio [OR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57–0.76) and the Midwest (OR, 64; 95% CI, 0.56–0.73) were less likely than residents in the South to have scores in the lowest quintile after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.
Conclusion
Significant regional differences exist in HRQOL of older Americans. Future research could provide policy makers with information on improving HRQOL of older Americans.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.140023
PMCID: PMC4082433  PMID: 24995652
3.  Comparison of Florida Skin Cancer Screening Rates with Those in Different US Regions 
Southern medical journal  2012;105(10):524-529.
Objectives
Florida has the second highest incidence of melanoma in the United States, and more than 600 Floridians die from melanoma annually. Given the lack of population-based data on skin cancer screening among the different US geographic regions, we compared skin cancer screening rates among Floridians to those in the rest of the South, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.
Methods
We used data from the 2000 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey. Data were grouped according to whether participants reported ever receiving a skin cancer examination in their lifetime. Data were pooled, and analyses accounted for sample weights and design effects. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed with self-reported skin screening as the outcome of interest.
Results
Results showed that compared to the rest of the US, Floridians who were women 70 years old and older, reported being of “other” race, of non-Hispanic ethnicity, having a high school education, having health insurance, and employed in the service industry or unemployed, had significantly higher lifetime skin cancer screening rates than their subgroup counterparts residing in the other regions. Multivariable logistic regression showed that Floridians remained significantly more likely to have ever been screened for skin cancer compared to the other US regions after controlling for a variety of sociodemographic variables.
Conclusions
Increasing melanoma detection remains a national cancer goal for the US, and future identification of underlying causal factors for higher screening rates in Florida could inform intervention strategies in the other US regions.
doi:10.1097/SMJ.0b013e318268cf63
PMCID: PMC3465561  PMID: 23038483
skin cancer screening; cancer surveillance; Florida; US geographic regions; melanoma
4.  The California Neighborhoods Data System: a new resource for examining the impact of neighborhood characteristics on cancer incidence and outcomes in populations 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(4):631-647.
Research on neighborhoods and health has been growing. However, studies have not investigated the association of specific neighborhood measures, including socioeconomic and built environments, with cancer incidence or outcomes. We developed the California Neighborhoods Data System (CNDS), an integrated system of small area-level measures of socioeconomic and built environments for California, which can be readily linked to individual-level geocoded records. The CNDS includes measures such as socioeconomic status, population density, racial residential segregation, ethnic enclaves, distance to hospitals, walkable destinations, and street connectivity. Linking the CNDS to geocoded cancer patient information from the California Cancer Registry, we demonstrate the variability of CNDS measures by neighborhood socioeconomic status and predominant race/ethnicity for the 7,049 California census tracts, as well as by patient race/ethnicity. The CNDS represents an efficient and cost-effective resource for cancer epidemiology and control. It expands our ability to understand the role of neighborhoods with regard to cancer incidence and outcomes. Used in conjunction with cancer registry data, these additional contextual measures enable the type of transdisciplinary, “cells-to-society” research that is now being recognized as necessary for addressing population disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes.
doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9736-5
PMCID: PMC3102646  PMID: 21318584
Neighborhood; Socioeconomic environment; Built environment; Immigration; Contextual factors; GIS
5.  Papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates vary significantly by birthplace in Asian American women 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(3):479-485.
Objective
To investigate how birthplace influences the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer among Asian American women.
Methods
Birthplace- and ethnic-specific age-adjusted and age-specific incidence rates were calculated using data from the California Cancer Registry for the period 1988–2004. Birthplace was statistically imputed for 30% of cases using a validated imputation method based on age at Social Security number issuance. Population estimates were obtained from the US Census. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for foreign-born vs. US-born women.
Results
Age-adjusted incidence rates of papillary thyroid cancer among Filipina (13.7 per 100,000) and Vietnamese (12.7) women were more than double those of Japanese women (6.2). US-born Chinese (IRR=0.48, 95% CI: 0.40–0.59) and Filipina women (IRR=0.74, 95% CI: 0.58–0.96) had significantly higher rates than those who were foreign-born; the opposite was observed for Japanese women (IRR=1.55, 95% CI: 1.17–2.08). The age-specific patterns among all foreign-born Asian women and US-born Japanese women showed a slow steady increase in incidence until age 70. However, among US-born Asian women (except Japanese), substantially elevated incidence rates during the reproductive and menopausal years were evident.
Conclusions
Ethnic- and birthplace-variation in papillary thyroid cancer incidence can provide insight into the etiology of this increasingly common and understudied cancer.
doi:10.1007/s10552-010-9720-5
PMCID: PMC3291661  PMID: 21207130
papillary thyroid cancer; incidence rates; birthplace; Asian American women; cancer surveillance
6.  State Variations of Chronic Disease Risk Factors in Older Americans 
The objective of this study was to examine and compare 3 key health behaviors associated with chronic disease (ie, risky drinking, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle). We used data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 through 2010 to calculate the prevalence of these behaviors among older Americans and rank each state, and we analyzed overall trends in prevalence for each behavior over the 14 years. Older adults residing in Arkansas and Montana had the worst chronic disease risk profile compared with other states. These findings indicate the need for improved or increased targeted interventions in these states.
doi:10.5888/pcd9.120143
PMCID: PMC3528304  PMID: 23256910
7.  Second Primary Breast Cancer Occurrence According to Hormone Receptor Status 
Background
Contralateral second primary breast cancers occur in 4% of female breast cancer survivors. Little is known about differences in risk for second primary breast cancers related to the estrogen and progesterone receptor (hormone receptor [HR]) status of the first tumor.
Methods
We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for contralateral primary breast cancers among 4927 women diagnosed with a first breast cancer between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 2004, using the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.
Results
For women whose first breast tumors were HR positive, risk of contralateral primary breast cancer was elevated, compared with the general population, adjusted for age, race, and calendar year (SIR = 2.22, 95% CI = 2.15 to 2.29, absolute risk [AR] = 13 cases per 10 000 person-years [PY]), and was not related to the HR status of the second tumor. For women whose first breast tumors were HR negative, the risk of a contralateral primary tumor was statistically significantly higher than that for women whose first tumors were HR positive (SIR = 3.57, 95% CI = 3.38 to 3.78, AR = 18 per 10 000 PY), and it was associated with a much greater likelihood of an HR-negative second tumor (SIR for HR-positive second tumors = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.77 to 2.13, AR = 20 per 10 000 PY; SIR for HR-negative second tumors = 9.81, 95% CI = 9.00 to 10.7, AR = 24 per 10 000 PY). Women who were initially diagnosed with HR-negative tumors when younger than 30 years had greatly elevated risk of HR-negative contralateral tumors, compared with the general population (SIR = 169, 95% CI = 106 to 256, AR = 77 per 10 000 PY). Incidence rates for any contralateral primary cancer following an HR-negative or HR-positive tumor were higher in non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and Asians or Pacific Islanders than in non-Hispanic whites.
Conclusions
Risk for contralateral second primary breast cancers varies substantially by HR status of the first tumor, age, and race and/or ethnicity. Women with HR-negative first tumors have nearly a 10-fold elevated risk of developing HR-negative second tumors, compared with the general population. These findings warrant intensive surveillance for second breast cancers in women with HR-negative tumors.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djp181
PMCID: PMC2720990  PMID: 19590058
8.  Availability and accuracy of medical record information on language usage of cancer patients from a multi-ethnic population 
Background
Documentation of language usage in medical settings could be effective in identifying and addressing language barriers and would improve understanding of health disparities.
Methods
This study evaluated the availability and accuracy of medical records information on language for 1,664 cancer patients likely to have poor English proficiency. Accuracy was assessed by comparison to language obtained from interview-based research studies.
Results
For patients diagnosed at facilities where information on language was not abstracted electronically, 81.6% had language information in their medical records, most often in admissions documents. For all 37 hospitals, agreement between medical records and interview language was 79.3% overall and was greater for those speaking English than another language.
Conclusions
Language information is widely available in hospital medical records of cancer patients. However, for the data to be useful for research and reducing language barriers in medical care, the information must be collected in a consistent and accurate manner.
doi:10.1007/s10903-009-9282-3
PMCID: PMC2889213  PMID: 19685187
cancer; language; epidemiology; medical record
9.  Improvements in Survival After Follicular Lymphoma by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status: A Population-Based Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(18):3044-3051.
Purpose
A recent report suggested improvements in survival after follicular lymphoma (FL), but not for all racial/ethnic groups. To better understand the reasons for these FL survival differences, we examined the joint influences of diagnostic period, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) on survival in a large population-based case series.
Methods
All patients (n = 15,937) diagnosed with FL between 1988 and 2005 in California were observed for vital status through November 2007. Overall and FL-specific survival were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression. Neighborhood SES was assigned from United States Census data using residence at diagnosis.
Results
Overall and FL-specific survival improved 22% and 37%, respectively, from 1988 to 1997 to 1998 to 2005, and were observed in all racial/ethnic groups. Asian/Pacific Islanders had better survival than non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, and black patients who had similar outcomes. Lower neighborhood SES was associated with worse survival in patients across all stages of disease (P for trend < .01). Patients with the lowest SES quintile had a 49% increased risk of death from all causes (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.49, 95% CI, 1.30 to 1.72) and 31% increased risk of death from FL (HR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.60) than patients with the highest SES.
Conclusion
Evolving therapies have likely led to improvements in survival after FL. Although improvements have occurred within all racial/ethnic groups, lower neighborhood SES was significantly associated with substantially poorer survival.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.18.8052
PMCID: PMC2702236  PMID: 19451447
10.  Availability and utility of body mass index for population-based cancer surveillance 
Objective
To evaluate the availability of body height and weight in the hospital medical record of cancer patients and discuss the utility of the findings to population-based cancer research and the surveillance of overweight and obesity in the United States.
Methods
Medical records were reviewed for up to three measures of height and weight for a random sample of 1,739 patients diagnosed (2001–2003) with one of 12 types of cancer and reported to the population-based Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry of Northern California.
Results
84% of cancer patients had at least one value of height, 91% had at least one value of weight, and 83% had both values recorded in the medical record such that body mass index (BMI) could be computed. 60% of height and weight values were recorded within two months of cancer diagnosis, with most values (71%) recorded after cancer diagnosis. The availability of BMI varied somewhat by race/ethnicity, cancer site, initial treatment, and hospital characteristics.
Conclusions
BMI may be sufficiently available to be included routinely in population-based cancer registries, and, if so, would be useful for studies of cancer diagnoses and outcomes and permit nationwide surveillance of BMI in a large population-representative cohort of cancer patients.
doi:10.1007/s10552-007-9069-6
PMCID: PMC2818298  PMID: 17943455
body mass index; body weight; body height; cancer; surveillance
11.  Socioeconomic status and prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates among the diverse population of California 
Cancer Causes & Control   2009;20(8):1431-1440.
Background
The racial/ethnic disparities in prostate cancer rates are well documented, with the highest incidence and mortality rates observed among African-Americans followed by non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Whether socioeconomic status (SES) can account for these differences in risk has been investigated in previous studies, but with conflicting results. Furthermore, previous studies have focused primarily on the differences between African-Americans and non-Hispanic Whites, and little is known for Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Objective
To further investigate the relationship between SES and prostate cancer among African-Americans, non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, we conducted a large population-based cross-sectional study of 98,484 incident prostate cancer cases and 8,997 prostate cancer deaths from California.
Methods
Data were abstracted from the California Cancer Registry, a population-based surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER) registry. Each prostate cancer case and death was assigned a multidimensional neighborhood-SES index using the 2000 US Census data. SES quintile-specific prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates and rate ratios were estimated using SEER*Stat for each race/ethnicity categorized into 10-year age groups.
Results
For prostate cancer incidence, we observed higher levels of SES to be significantly associated with increased risk of disease [SES Q1 vs. Q5: relative risk (RR) = 1.28; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.25–1.30]. Among younger men (45–64 years), African-Americans had the highest incidence rates followed by non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders for all SES levels. Yet, among older men (75–84 years) Hispanics, following African-Americans, displayed the second highest incidence rates of prostate cancer. For prostate cancer deaths, higher levels of SES were associated with lower mortality rates of prostate cancer deaths (SES Q1 vs. Q5: RR = 0.88; 95% CI: 0.92–0.94). African-Americans had a twofold to fivefold increased risk of prostate cancer deaths in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites across all levels of SES.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that SES alone cannot account for the greater burden of prostate cancer among African-American men. In addition, incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer display different age and racial/ethnic patterns across gradients of SES.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10552-009-9369-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10552-009-9369-0
PMCID: PMC2746891  PMID: 19526319
Prostate cancer; Socioeconomic status; Disparities; Incidence rates; Mortality rates

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