A series of 1636 patients with leukemia, representing the white residents of Brooklyn diagnosed in the period 1943-52, is compared with selected census data for the population. After standardization for age differences in the two populations, the incidences of leukemia in the native-born and foreign-born populations of the borough are 45.3 and 61.0 per million per annum, respectively. The data suggest that a high incidence of leukemia in the Russian-born population accounts for the higher rate in the foreign-born group.
Using affiliation of cemetery of burial as an index of religion, a series of 1368 deaths from leukemia is compared with a systematic one in 200 samples of all deaths in the same area. Leukemia is recorded as cause of death twice as frequently among Jews, as among others. This relationship is seen in both native-born and foreign-born groups, in males and females, at all ages and in all the common pathologic varieties of leukemia. No difference in leukemia incidence is seen between predominantly Catholic and predominantly Protestant groups.
Evidence from United States vital statistics is used to show that the commonly observed difference between whites and Negroes imi leukemia death rates is closely associated with social differences between the two groups. Little or no difference in leukemia death rate exists between these two groups in Brooklyn, when allowance is made for the apparently high rate in the white Jewish population.