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Kaufman, Jay S. (1999). Progress and Pitfalls in the Social Epidemiology of Cancer. Cancer Causes & Control, 10(6), 489-494.


The unequal burden of cancer incidence and mortality experienced by racial/ethnic and socioeconomic sub- groups has been noted with increasing urgency, and is coming to be appreciated as one of the most pressing health disparities that we face at the close of the current century [1]. Although epidemiologic study of social factors has a long and fruitful history in cardiovascular research, the social epidemiology of cancer still suffers from a curious obscurity. This perhaps stems from the traditional myopism of handling socially mitigated exposures ± cigarette smoking, diet, and so forth - as isolated entities, divorced from their actual social context [2]. In reality, of course, these ``proximal'' exposures vary tremendously by social circumstances. Analyses that step back and view such exposures as elements of patterned trajectories allow for a more complete and ultimately useful description of disease occurrence in populations.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Cancer Causes & Control


Kaufman, Jay S.