INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to compare cancer mortality among migrant patients with cancer mortality in Danish-born patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was a historical prospective cohort study. All non-Western migrants (n = 56,273) who were granted a right to residency in Denmark between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 1999 were included and matched 1:4 on age and sex with Danish-born patients. Cancer patients in the cohort were identified through the Danish Cancer Registry and deaths and emigrations through the Central Population Register. Using a Cox regression model, mean sex-specific hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality were estimated by ethnicity; adjusting for age, income, co-morbidity and disease stage. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed in mortality for gynaecological cancers between migrant women (HR = 1.12; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70-1.80) and Danish-born women. Correspondingly, migrant women (HR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.49-1.17) showed no significant differences in breast cancer mortality compared with Danish-born women. Regarding lung cancer, neither migrant women (HR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.45-1.40) nor men (HR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.53-1.14) presented statistical variances in mortality rates compared with Danish-born patients. Similarly, for colorectal cancer, migrant women (HR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.27-1.55) and men (HR = 1.58; 95% CI: 0.75-3.36) displayed no significant differences compared with Danish-born patients. CONCLUSION: Different trends were observed according to cancer type, but cancer mortality did not differ significantly between migrants and Danish-born patients. This may imply that the Danish health-care system provides equity in cancer care.
Danish Medical Journal, 2014, Vol 61, Issue 6, p. 1-5