The team used data from the World Bank and the World Health Organisation to develop an empirical analysis of the relationship between economic growth and cancer incidence.
The statistics show that, for many countries, the number of cancer cases increases in line with economic growth, as people live longer. However, in countries where this is not the case, people still die as young as they did previously.
In addition, the statistics reflect that poorer people have a greater likelihood of developing certain types of cancer.
Dr McIntosh added: “Describing and measuring the relationship between cancer incidence and real per capita income constitutes the first step in understanding how the process of economic growth affects population exposure to cancer-causing factors.
“Further research is needed to include more variables, other than real per capita income, for example, those referring to personal income distribution, cultural habits and customs, general sanitary conditions and health policies.
“This paper, however, highlights some basic empirical regularities and theoretical insights that may be useful in developing an economic theory of the evolution of cancer incidence in a growing economy.”
Dr Cruickshank will discuss the findings, as part of a presentation on multi-morbidity and cancer outcomes, at the Scottish Oncology Summit, in Dunblane, this week.
The paper, Dismay and disparities – economic development and cancer incidence, is published in the International Journal of Healthcare Policy.