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Cancer mortality does not differ between migrants and Danish-born patients

Marie Norredam1, 2, Maja Olsbjerg3, Jørgen H. Petersen3, Martin Hutchings4 & Allan Krasnik1

9. jun. 2014
2 min.


The aim of this study was to compare cancer mortality among migrant patients with cancer mortality in Danish-born patients.


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, sex-specific mean hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality were estimated by ethnicity; adjusting for age, income, co-morbidity and disease stage.


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.


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.


Not relevant.



CORRESPONDENCE: Marie Norredam. E-mail:


REFERENCE: Dan Med J 2014;61(6):A4848