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Socioeconomic inequalities in breast cancer incidence and mortality in Europe—a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lundqvist A, Andersson E, Ahlberg I, Nilbert M & Gerdtham U

The Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE) has in collaboration with Lund University performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the association between socioeconomic status and breast cancer outcomes in Europe.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of female cancer in Europe and is estimated to affect more than one in 10 women. The results indicated a significant association between higher socioeconomic status and increased breast cancer incidence, which may be explained by reproductive factors, participation in mammography screening, hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle factors. However, lower case fatality was shown for women with higher socioeconomic status, which could be explained by differences in tumour characteristics, treatment factors, comorbidity and lifestyle factors.

The European Journal of Public Health 2016; 26(5): 804-813
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw070