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Long-term trends in cancer mortality for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory

John R Condon, Joan Cunningham, Tony Barnes and Bruce K Armstrong
Med J Aust 2006; 184 (1): 39.
Published online: 2 January 2006
Correction

Re: Long-term trends in cancer mortality for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, by John R Condon, Tony Barnes, Joan Cunningham and Bruce K Armstrong, in the 17 May 2004 issue of the Journal (Med J Aust 2004; 180: 504-507). Box 1 on page 505 of this article inadvertently included some incorrect data. The corrected table is shown with the changes in bold text.

The html and pdf versions of this article were corrected on 1 December 2005.

In summary:

  • for oesophageal cancer, the corrected mortality rate ratios (NT Indigenous to total Australian) are higher than the published results in all age categories;

  • for stomach cancer, the corrected rate ratio for the 0–64 age group is lower than the published figure, and the all-ages result is now reported because the difference between the younger and older age groups is no longer statistically significant (P = 0.06);

  • for cancer of the liver and gallbladder, the corrected rate ratios are lower in the 0–64 years and all-ages groups; and

  • there are also very slight changes for breast and lung cancers.

These changes do not alter the inferences that might reasonably be drawn from the results in the table, or the overall findings of the study and their interpretation.

Cancer mortality rate ratios* (NT Indigenous population compared with the total Australian population), by age group, 1991–2000

Site/type of cancer

0–64 years

65 years and over

All ages

Interaction P value


Oropharynx

8.0 (5.5, 11.6)

2.0 (0.8, 4.8)

< 0.01

Oesophagus

2.9 (1.5, 5.6)

1.2 (0.5, 2.9)

1.9 (1.1, 3.2)

0.11

Stomach

1.4 (0.6, 3.0)

0.2 (0.0, 1.2)

0.7 (0.3, 1.4)

0.06

Colon and rectum

0.9 (0.5, 1.4)

0.2 (0.1, 0.6)

0.01

Liver and gallbladder

5.5 (3.6, 8.6)

5.8 (3.9, 8.6)

5.7 (4.2, 7.6)

0.88

Pancreas

4.1 (2.7, 6.3)

1.1 (0.5, 2.2)

< 0.001

Lung

3.6 (2.9, 4.5)

1.4 (1.0, 1.9)

< 0.001

Melanoma

0.0

0.0

0.0

na

Breast

0.8 (0.5, 1.3)

0.9 (0.4, 1.8)

0.8 (0.6, 1.3)

0.86

Uterus

3.4 (1.1, 10.7)

2.5 (0.8, 7.6)

2.9 (1.3, 6.4)

0.68

Cervix

8.0 (5.2, 12.4)

10.1 (5.4, 19.1)

8.6 (6.0, 12.3)

0.56

Ovary

1.0 (0.4, 2.6)

1.3 (0.5, 3.5)

1.1 (0.6, 2.2)

0.67

Prostate

0.9 (0.2, 3.6)

0.3 (0.1, 0.8)

0.4 (0.2, 0.8)

0.23

Bladder

1.5 (0.4, 6.1)

0.5 (0.1, 1.9)

0.7 (0.3, 1.9)

0.24

Kidney

0.3 (0.0, 2.2)

0.0

0.1 (0.0, 1.0)

1.00

Thyroid

12.9 (4.8, 34.7)

6.1 (1.5, 24.7)

9.4 (4.2, 21.1)

0.40

Unknown primary

3.2 (2.1, 4.7)

1.7 (1.0, 2.6)

0.04

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

1.1 (0.5, 2.2)

0.7 (0.2, 1.7)

0.9 (0.5, 1.6)

0.40

Leukaemia

1.5 (0.9, 2.5)

0.8 (0.3, 2.0)

1.2 (0.8, 1.9)

0.25


* Mortality rate ratio estimated by negative binomial regression.

Mortality rate ratios are reported separately for age groups 0–64 and 65 years and over; the rate ratio for all ages combined is reported only where the P value of an interaction term testing for difference in mortality rate between younger and older age groups was > 0.05.
Not including cervix.
na = not applicable because rate ratio was zero (no NT Indigenous deaths from this cancer in 1991–2000).

  • John R Condon1
  • Joan Cunningham2
  • Tony Barnes3
  • Bruce K Armstrong4

  • 1 Menzies School of Health Research, and Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, NT.
  • 2 School of Social and Policy Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.
  • 3 School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

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