Background:South Asians in England have an increased risk of childhood cancer but incidence by their individual ethnicities using self-assigned ethnicity is unknown. Our objective was to compare the incidence of childhood cancer in British Indians and Whites in Leicester, which has virtually complete, self-assigned, ethnicity data and the largest population of Indians in England.Methods:We obtained data on all cancer registrations from 1996 to 2008 for Leicester with ethnicity obtained by linkage to the Hospital Episodes Statistics database. Age-standardised incidence rates were calculated for childhood cancers in Indians and Whites as well as rate ratios, adjusted for age.Results:There were 33 cancers registered among Indian children and 39 among White children. The incidence rate for Indians was greater compared to Whites for all cancers combined (RR 1.82 (95% CI 1.14 to 2.89); p = 0.01), with some evidence of increased risk of leukaemia (RR 2.20 (0.95 to 5.07); p = 0.07), lymphoma (RR 3.96 (0.99 to 15.84); p = 0.04) and central nervous system tumours (RR 2.70 (1.00 to 7.26); p = 0.05). Rates were also higher in British Indian children compared to children in India.Conclusions:British Indian children in Leicester had an increased risk of developing cancer compared to White children, largely due to a higher incidence of central nervous system and haematological malignancies.
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