Large study on cancer in the Métis people of Canada

The incidence of all cancers combined was similar for Métis men and significantly higher for Métis women compared to non-Aboriginal men and women, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Canada’s Métis people are 1 of 3 groups officially named in the Canadian Constitution as the “aboriginal peoples of Canada”, along with Inuit and First Nations peoples. Métis people, who are descendants of early unions between First Nations women and European fur traders, have unique culture, traditions and nationhood. Aboriginal peoples in Canada have higher rates of poverty and unemployment as well as obesity, tobacco smoking and unhealthy diet compared with non-Aboriginal Canadians.

There are more than 450 000 Métis in Canada (1.4% of the total population). However, there is a lack of national data on the incidence of cancer as well as cancer survival rates in this unique population.

In this large study, researchers linked data on self-reported Métis ancestry from the 1991 Canadian census to national cancer and mortality databases between 1992 and 2009. In the 11 050 Métis adults (aged 25 to 99 years), 1090 cancers were diagnosed over 185 000 person-years. Compared with non-Aboriginal adults in the study, Métis adults were significantly


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