Cancer-related incidence and mortality among children and adolescents in the MENA region countries: Gap between rich and poor countries
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College of Medicine, University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates
Research Institute for Medical and Health Sciences "806, Al gurg 212 building al nahda 2" United Arab Emirates
Research Institute for Medical and Health Sciences, University of Sharjah
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A800
Cancer is among one of the leading causes of death in children and adolescents and majority proportion of these cases are clustered into low and middle income countries. Previous studies have shown discrepancy in all age cancer incidence and mortality by country’s level of development. The MENA region comprises of countries with heterogeneous income and development level. Present study aims to assess if discrepancies exist for cancer incidence and death rates among children and adolescents in the MENA region countries.

Material and Methods:
Data on cancer incidence and mortality rates were drawn from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019 for all malignant neoplasms (including non-melanoma skin cancers) excluding benign neoplasms. The analysis is restricted to children and adolescents aged less than 20 years. Mortality Incidence rates (MIR) are calculated as proxy measure of survival for each cancer type and country. Moreover, Pearson’s correlation coefficient is calculated for association between socio development index (SDI) and MIR.

A marked difference is observed in cancer-related death rates in low income vs high income countries. MIR is higher in low income countries, especially for males and certain types of cancer such as liver, colon and rectum, brain and central nervous system, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma among others. There is a negative correlation between country’s SDI and MIR i.e. the higher the SDI of the country, the lower the MIR values.

Present discussion calls for evidence-based action to reduce cancer-mortality and burden of disease in this age group. The updated data on cancer incidence and mortality at the national level is missing for countries in the region. Reliable estimates of the cancer burden can provide a comprehensive picture of how the impact of cancer varies between geographic areas and between economies. Such estimates, can inform the development of cancer control strategies.