Exploring the relationship between deprivation measured at individual, household and area level and cancer incidence and survival in Northern Ireland: An exemplar linkage study using the NILS and NICR databases.

Cancer is the most common cause of death in Northern Ireland accounting for 27% of all deaths with one in three people developing some form of the disease before the age of 75 years.

Exploration of inequalities in cancer incidence and survival in Northern Ireland has largely been carried out using area indicators of disadvantage (Donnelly et al, 2007). While such research is valuable and provides useful insights into service delivery on an area basis, there are obvious limitations.

Research using area based deprivation measures provide only an ecological basis for the relationship between deprivation and survival and does not permit an understanding of the most important indicators of deprivation at an individual and at a household level.

This proposal aims to link validated cancer incidence and survival data from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry to the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study with the aim of investigating the relationship between individual, household and area measures of deprivation and cancer incidence and survival in Northern Ireland for at least the four main cancers (breast, lung, colorectal and prostate).


McGuiness, S. Colorectal cancer in Northern Ireland: factors influencing incidence and stage at presentation. Master of Science in Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast. September 2012.

Research Team: Dr Anna Gavin, Dr Heather Kinnear, Dr Dermot O’Reilly, Dr Catherine Coyle, Dr Finian Bannon, Fiona Johnston, Dr Michael Rosato, Conan Donnelly, Deirdre Fitzpatrick and Dr Arlene Connolly
Database: NILS and Northern Ireland Cancer Registry
Project Status: Complete
Organisation(s): Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Queen’s University Belfast, Centre for Public Health and NISRA