While many studies have suggested a link between pediatric cancers and SOCIOECONOMIC status, the literature surrounding pediatric brain tumors is quite varied. Some studies find no correlation between brain tumors and SOCIOECONOMIC status, while others have found both positive and negative correlations. This raises the question of what the true connection between SOCIOECONOMIC status and pediatric brain tumors is. By analyzing county median income and the incidence and mortality rates of common pediatric brain tumors from across the USA, the potential correlation between pediatric brain tumor rates and SOCIOECONOMIC status will be examined.Methods: Using the SEER database and SEER stat software, 6406 total cases of pediatric pilocytic astrocytoma and medulloblastoma in patients from ages 0 to 19 were analyzed in relation to median county income from 2000-2018 (n=18). County median income should serve as a rough indicator of SOCIOECONOMIC status, as well as an approximate indicator of local healthcare resource availability. After the data was collected using SEER*Stat v.8.3.9, it was analyzed and plotted using standard correlation analyses two ascertain any potential link between county median income and the incidence and mortality rates for these tumors.
The correlation analyses yielded no definitive link between tumor rates and county median income. Total incidence of tumors and county median income from 6406 cases yielded r=-0.003, p>0.1. Malignant tumor rates and county median income from 6368 cases yielded r=0.015, p>0.1. Tumor related mortality rates and county median income from 1074 cases yielded r=0.170, p>0.1.
Based on the several thousand cases of pediatric cancers from 2000-2018 SEER database, there was no statistically significant correlation between county median income and tumor incidence and mortality rates. This suggests that there is no apparent link between pediatric brain tumor rates and socioeconomic status, at least in the case of pilocytic astrocytoma and medulloblastoma.