The higher incidence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) among Hispanic children relative to that in other racial/ethnic groups is well-known. We evaluated incidence patterns of ALL in adults.
We analyzed the incidence patterns of ALL (ICD-03 codes 9835–9837) among all patients diagnosed from 1988–2004 in California using data from the California Cancer Registry to determine whether adult Hispanics also had higher incidence rates of ALL compared to non-Hispanic Whites (Whites). Age-adjusted incidence rates (AAIR), incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 5-year survival rates were obtained using SEER*Stat. AAIRs of other leukemia subtypes and IRRs relative to non-Hispanic whites were also examined as references of ALL.
AAIRs of ALL in Hispanic males and females ages 20–54 years were higher compared to those in White males and females (IRR=1.99,95% CI=1.74–2.28 and IRR=1.91,95% CI=1.60–2.25 respectively). A higher AAIR of ALL was also observed among older (55+ years) Hispanic females (IRR=1.84, 95% CI=1.52–2.21), but not males (IRR= 1.07, 95% CI= 0.84–1.34). Among Hispanics, low socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with a higher AAIR compared to high/middle SES (IRR= 1.33, 95% CI=1.04–1.70). The respective five-year survival rates among ALL patients were 38% and 30% for Whites and Hispanics ages 20–54 years, and 8% and 12% for patients 55 years of age or older. Compared to other racial/ethnic groups, Hispanics did not have an increased IRR of the other major leukemia subtypes.
Hispanics experience a higher incidence of ALL throughout life, but not other subtypes.