The burden of stomach cancer mortality by county, race, and ethnicity in the USA, 2000-2019

Published August 4, 2023, in The Lancet Regional Health - Americas (opens in a new window)



There are persistent disparities in stomach cancer mortality among racial–ethnic groups in the USA, but the extent to which these patterns vary geographically is not well understood. This analysis estimated age-standardised mortality for five racial–ethnic groups, in 3110 USA counties over 20 years, to describe spatial–temporal variations in stomach cancer mortality and disparities between racial–ethnic groups.


Redistribution methods for insufficient cause of death codes and validated small area estimation methods were applied to death registration data from the US National Vital Statistics System and population data from the US National Center for Health Statistics to estimate annual stomach cancer mortality rates. Estimates were stratified by county and racial–ethnic group (non-Latino and non-Hispanic [NL] American Indian or Alaska Native [AIAN], NL Asian or Pacific Islander [Asian], NL Black [Black], Latino or Hispanic [Latino], and NL White [White]) from 2000 to 2019. 

Estimates were corrected for misreporting of racial–ethnic group on death certificates using published misclassification ratios. We masked (ie, did not display) estimates for county and racial–ethnic group combinations with a mean annual population of less than 1000; thus, we report estimates for 3079 (of 3110) counties for the total population, and 474, 667, 1488, 1478, and 3051 counties for the AIAN, Asian, Black, Latino, and White populations, respectively.


Between 2000 and 2019, national age-standardised stomach cancer mortality was lowest among the White population in every year. Nationally, stomach cancer mortality declined for all racial–ethnic groups across this time period, with the most rapid declines occurring among the Asian (percent decline 48.3% [45.1–51.1]) and Black populations (42.6% [40.2–44.6]). Mortality among the other racial–ethnic groups declined more moderately, decreasing by 36.7% (35.3–38.1), 35.1% (32.2–37.7), and 31.6% (23.9–38.0) among the White, Latino, and AIAN populations, respectively. 

Similar patterns were observed at the county level, although with wide geographic variation. In 2019, a majority of counties had higher mortality rates among minoritised racial–ethnic populations compared to the White population: 81.1% (377 of 465 counties with unmasked estimates for both racial–ethnic groups) among the AIAN population, 88.2% (1295 of 1469) among the Latino population, 99.4% (663 of 667) among the Asian population, and 99.9% (1484 of 1486) among the Black population. However, the size of these disparities ranged widely across counties, with the largest range from 0.3 to 17.1 among the AIAN population.


Stomach cancer mortality has decreased substantially across populations and geographies in the USA. However, disparities in stomach cancer mortality among racial–ethnic groups are widespread and have persisted over the last two decades. Local-level data are crucial to understanding the scope of this unequal burden among minoritised groups in the USA.


National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Cancer Institute; National Institute on Aging; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Office of Disease Prevention; and Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health (contract #75N94019C00016).

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GBD US Health Disparities Collaborators. The burden of stomach cancer mortality by county, race, and ethnicity in the USA, 2000–2019: a systematic analysis of health disparities. The Lancet Regional Health - Americas. 4 August 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.lana.2023.100547.


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