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Healthy People 2010 has two overarching goals: to increase the span of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities across the categories of gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, geographic location, and sexual orientation. This report raises some conceptual issues and reviews different methodological approaches germane to measuring progress toward the goal of eliminating cancer-related health disparities. Despite the increased attention to social disparities in health, no clear framework exists to define and measure health disparities. This may create confusion in communicating the extent of cancer-related health disparities and hinder the ability of public health organizations to monitor progress toward the Healthy People 2010 cancer objectives.

The monograph was published in 2005 and written under contract from the Surveillance Research Program and the Applied Research Program of the NCI. The monograph is provided in PDF format.

The work in this monograph was extended in a second report, published in 2007, Selected Comparisons of Measures of Health Disparities. This report uses case studies to analyze the performance and appropriateness of various potential measures of health disparities.

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Methods for Measuring Cancer Disparities monograph (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Suggested Citation

Harper S, Lynch J. Methods for Measuring Cancer Disparities: Using Data Relevant to Healthy People 2010 Cancer-Related Objectives. NCI Cancer Surveillance Monograph Series, Number 6. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 2005. NIH Publication No. 05-5777.

Copyright Information

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

Download the fact sheet, Methods for Measuring Cancer Disparities: Using Data Relevant to Healthy People 2010 Cancer-Related Objectives (PDF)

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