In a 2018 descriptive study, cancer incidence in children (age 0–19) in diagnosis years 2003 to 2014 was reported as being highest in New Hampshire and in the Northeast region.
Using the Cancer in North America (CiNA) analytic file, we tested the hypotheses that incidence rates in the Northeast were higher than those in other regions of the United States either overall or by race/ethnicity group, and that rates in New Hampshire were higher than the Northeast region as a whole.
In 2003 to 2014, pediatric cancer incidence was significantly higher in the Northeast than other regions of the United States overall and among non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks, but not among Hispanics and other racial minorities. However, there was no significant variability in incidence in the states within the Northeast overall or by race/ethnicity subgroup. Overall, statistically significantly higher incidence was seen in the Northeast for lymphomas [RR, 1.15; 99% confidence interval (CI), 1.10–1.19], central nervous system neoplasms (RR, 1.12; 99% CI, 1.07–1.16), and neuroblastoma (RR, 1.13; 99% CI, 1.05–1.21).
Pediatric cancer incidence is statistically significantly higher in the Northeast than in the rest of the United States, but within the Northeast, states have comparable incidence. Differences in cancer subtypes by ethnicity merit further investigation.
Our analyses clarify and extend previous reports by statistically confirming the hypothesis that the Northeast has the highest pediatric cancer rates in the country, by providing similar comparisons stratified by race/ethnicity, and by assessing variability within the Northeast.