4.4 Small geographic area characteristics and cancer risk

Figure 4.3 Adjusted relative risks (with 95% confidence intervals) of breast cancer by socio-economic characteristics of geographic area of residence: females 

The risks of breast cancer in women in RoI and NI were similar in 1995-2007; however, after adjustments for population density and socio-economic factors, the risk of breast cancer was lower in NI than in RoI (RR=0.97, 95%CI=0.95-1.00) (Figure 4.3)

The risk of breast cancer increased with increasing population density. Women resident in areas with 1-15 persons per hectare (p/ha) had a 5% greater risk of breast cancer than those resident in the least densely populated areas, while those resident in the most densely populated areas had a 9% greater risk.

Breast cancer risk was inversely related to both unemployment and educational attainment. Compared to areas with low levels of unemployment and high levels of degree level education, those areas with high levels of unemployment and less degree-level education, had a 4% and 12% lower risk of breast cancer respectively.

Areas with the highest proportion of elderly living alone had a 4% greater risk of breast cancer.

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