Characterizing Lung Cancer Burden Among Asian-American Communities in Philadelphia

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Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer death among Asian-Americans. However, there are differences in LC incidence and mortality among Asian racial subgroups. The objective of this study was to describe LC burden and disparities among race/ethnic groups (White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic) across US census tracts (CT) in Philadelphia using the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry dataset (N=11,865). ArcGIS Pro was used to geocode patient addresses to the CT level for linkage to US Census data. Despite being diagnosed more frequently with advanced-stage lung cancer compared with other race and ethnic groups in Philadelphia, Asian patients were most likely to be alive at the time of data receipt. Among Asian subgroups, Korean patients were the oldest (median age 75, p=0.024). Although not statistically different, distant stage disease was the most prevalent among Asian Indian (77.8%) and Korean (73.7%) and the least prevalent among Chinese patients (49.5%). LC was the cause of death for 77.8% of Asian Indian, 63.2% of Korean, 52.9% of other Asian, 48.5% of Chinese, and 47.5% of Vietnamese patients. CTs where Asian individuals were concentrated had lower socioeconomic status and greater tobacco retailer density compared to the entire city. Compared to all of Philadelphia, heavily Asian CTs experienced a greater age-standardized LC incidence (1.48 vs. 1.42) but lower age-standardized LC mortality (1.13 vs. 1.22). Our study suggests that LC disparities exist among Asian subgroups, with Asian Indian and Korean Philadelphians most likely to present with advanced disease. Additional studies are needed to investigate LC among high-risk racial and ethnic groups, including Asian subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
StatePublished - Aug 4 2023


  • Asian health
  • Cancer incidence
  • Cancer mortality
  • Disparities
  • Lung cancer


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