20.4 Small geographic area characteristics and cancer risk

Figure 20.3 Adjusted relative risks (with 95% confidence intervals) of cancer of the cervix uteri by socio-economic characteristics of geographic area of residence


The risk of cervical cancer was 10% lower in NI than in RoI (Figure 20.3). This difference increased to 15% when population density and area-based socio-economic factors were taken into account.

Risk of cervical cancer increased with increasing population density. Those resident in areas with 1-15 p/ha had a 39% greater risk of cervical cancer than those resident in the least densely populated areas, while those resident in the areas of highest density had a 48% greater risk.

Electoral wards and districts with the highest levels of unemployment had higher rates of cervical cancer than those with the lowest levels. The relative risk between the lowest and highest quintiles was 1.21 (95%CI=1.06-1.37).

An even stronger association existed between lower educational attainment and cervical cancer. Women in areas with the lowest education levels had a 66% greater risk of cervical cancer than those in areas with the highest levels of educational attainment.

There was no association between cervical cancer and the proportion of elderly people living alone in an area.

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