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||Sociodemographic indicators and risk of brain tumours.
||Inskip PD, Tarone RE, Hatch EE, Wilcosky TC, Fine HA, Black PM, Loeffler JS, Shapiro WR, Selker RG, Linet MS
||Int J Epidemiol
||REB, BB, EBP
||BACKGROUND: To better understand patterns of occurrence or diagnosis of brain tumours in different segments of the population, we evaluated associations between sociodemographic variables and the relative incidence of brain tumours as part of a multi-faceted case-control study. METHODS: The study was conducted at hospitals in three US cities between 1994 and 1998. In all, 489 glioma cases (354 high-grade, 135 low-grade), 197 meningioma cases, 96 acoustic neuroma cases, and 799 controls admitted to the same hospitals for any of a variety of non-neoplastic diseases or conditions were enrolled and interviewed. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR), calculate 95% CI, and test for trends. RESULTS: The OR showed significant positive associations with household income for low-grade glioma, meningioma, and acoustic neuroma, but not for high-grade glioma. Positive associations were observed with level of education for low-grade glioma and acoustic neuroma, but not for high-grade glioma or meningioma. Jewish religion was associated with a significantly elevated risk for meningioma (OR = 4.3; 95% CI: 2.0-9.0). Being single at the time of tumour diagnosis or enrolment was associated with significantly reduced risks for meningioma (OR = 0.4; 95% CI: 0.3-0.6) and low- or high-grade glioma (OR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.5-0.8), but not for acoustic neuroma. CONCLUSIONS: Associations with sociodemographic variables varied considerably among the different subtypes of brain tumour, including between low-grade and high-grade glioma. The general pattern was for associations with indicators of affluence and education to be stronger for tumours that tend to grow more slowly and have less catastrophic effects, although the evidence was mixed for meningioma. We cannot isolate the specific factors underlying the observed associations, but intrapopulation differences in the completeness or timing of diagnosis may have played a role. There is less opportunity for such influences to operate for the rapidly progressing, high-grade gliomas than for more slowly growing tumours.