If you read the Health page (either paper or web-based) of any major news source (e.g., The New York Times, CNN), reports of the occurrence of health outcomes are common headlines. For example, you may see the following or similar headlines:
Breast Cancer Increasing in Asian-American Women
Teenage Smoking at an All-Time Low
Have you ever wondered where this information comes from and what it really means?
Governmental agencies and other organizations routinely collect descriptive epidemiological statistics on many health outcomes. For example, statistics on the occurrence of cancer in the United States have been continuously collected since the early 1970s through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute.
For this Case Study Assignment, you will analyze and interpret descriptive epidemiologic statistics. To prepare for this Assignment, review the material presented in the textbook.
A case study worksheet will be provided by your instructor for this Assignment in the form of a Microsoft Word document. Download the worksheet and type your answers directly into the document to complete the Assignment. Be sure that your completed worksheet contains your responses to all questions.
Prior to submitting your Descriptive Epidemiology Case Study, review the Module 2 Case Study Assignment Rubric.
In the United States, research has repeatedly demonstrated that persons not born among the United States have lower incidences of female breast cancer than their US-born peers in racial/ethnic minority populations such as Asian Americans (1,2).
However, among recent waves of Asian American immigrants, this trend may be changing.
Breast cancer incidence is highest in North America and lowest in Asia worldwide (3).
Although breast cancer rates in the United States have been stable throughout the 2000s, rates in East and Southeast Asia are fast rising, with the highest rates in urban and affluent areas (36).
These developments could be attributed to the effects of globalization and economic development on greater screening, reduced parity, delayed childbearing, decreased nursing, and sedentary lifestyles, all of which contribute to higher breast cancer incidence (3,7,8).
Current immigration regulations in the United States have resulted in an influx of highly qualified Asian immigrants with a higher socioeconomic position than earlier immigrant groups.
In 2013, 51% of recent East and South Asian immigrants before the United States had at least a bachelors degree; in 1970, only 20% of all newcomers had this level of education (9).
In many populations, having a high socioeconomic position is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer (10).
According to a recent study, breast cancer rates are rising among most Asian American communities in California, corroborating these findings (11).
Asian immigrants may have a higher chance of developing latent breast cancer than prior immigrant cohorts (12).
Our study is one of the first to describe how breast cancer risk differs among Asian American women based on nativity status and proportion of life spent in the United States, while accounting for identified breast cancer risk factors.
We hypothesized that 1) breast cancer risk differed by nativity, 2) a higher percentage of life spent in the United States was associated with a higher breast cancer risk, and 3) modifiable risk factors, such as reproductive history and BMI (7,13), would attenuate these differences by nativity and percentage of life spent in the United States.