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Greater family size is associated with less cancer risk: an ecological analysis of 178 countries


You, Wenpeng; Rühli, Frank J; Henneberg, Renata J; Henneberg, Maciej (2018). Greater family size is associated with less cancer risk: an ecological analysis of 178 countries. BMC Cancer, 18:924.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Greater family size measured with total fertility rate (TFR) and with household size, may offer more life satisfaction to the family members. Positive psychological well-being has been postulated to decrease cancer initiation risk. This ecological study aims to examine the worldwide correlation between family size, used as the measure of positive psychological well-being, and total cancer incidence rates. METHODS: Country specific estimates obtained from United Nations agencies on total cancer incidence rates (total, female and male rates in age range 0-49 years and all ages respectively), all ages site cancer incidence (bladder, breast, cervix uteri, colorectum, corpus uteri, lung, ovary and stomach), TFR, household size, life expectancy, urbanization, per capita GDP PPP and self-calculated Biological State Index (Ibs) were matched for data analysis. Pearson's, non-parametric Spearman's, partial correlations, independent T-test and multivariate regressions were conducted in SPSS. RESULTS: Worldwide, TFR and household size were significantly and negatively correlated to all the cancer incidence variables. These correlations remained significant in partial correlation analysis when GDP, life expectancy, Ibs and urbanization were controlled for. TFR correlated to male cancer incidence rate (all ages) significantly stronger than it did to female cancer incidence rate (all ages) in both Pearson's and partial correlations. Multivariate stepwise regression analysis indicated that TFR and household size were consistently significant predictors of all cancer incidence variables. CONCLUSIONS: Countries with greater family size have lower cancer risk in both females, and especially males. Our results seem to suggest that it may be worthwhile further examining correlations between family size and cancer risk in males and females through the cohort and case-control studies based on large samples.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Greater family size measured with total fertility rate (TFR) and with household size, may offer more life satisfaction to the family members. Positive psychological well-being has been postulated to decrease cancer initiation risk. This ecological study aims to examine the worldwide correlation between family size, used as the measure of positive psychological well-being, and total cancer incidence rates. METHODS: Country specific estimates obtained from United Nations agencies on total cancer incidence rates (total, female and male rates in age range 0-49 years and all ages respectively), all ages site cancer incidence (bladder, breast, cervix uteri, colorectum, corpus uteri, lung, ovary and stomach), TFR, household size, life expectancy, urbanization, per capita GDP PPP and self-calculated Biological State Index (Ibs) were matched for data analysis. Pearson's, non-parametric Spearman's, partial correlations, independent T-test and multivariate regressions were conducted in SPSS. RESULTS: Worldwide, TFR and household size were significantly and negatively correlated to all the cancer incidence variables. These correlations remained significant in partial correlation analysis when GDP, life expectancy, Ibs and urbanization were controlled for. TFR correlated to male cancer incidence rate (all ages) significantly stronger than it did to female cancer incidence rate (all ages) in both Pearson's and partial correlations. Multivariate stepwise regression analysis indicated that TFR and household size were consistently significant predictors of all cancer incidence variables. CONCLUSIONS: Countries with greater family size have lower cancer risk in both females, and especially males. Our results seem to suggest that it may be worthwhile further examining correlations between family size and cancer risk in males and females through the cohort and case-control studies based on large samples.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics, Cancer Research, Oncology
Language:English
Date:1 December 2018
Deposited On:01 Nov 2018 10:20
Last Modified:28 Feb 2019 08:02
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2407
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-4837-0
PubMed ID:30257658

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