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Trends and patterns of cancer mortality in European countries

Trends and patterns of cancer mortality in European countries

European Journal of Cancer Prevention 12(5): 367-372

This study aims at documenting differentials in the cancer mortality profile of European countries during the recent process of intense geo-political transformations. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe provided information on cancer mortality and several covariates for each country. In contrast with the European Union and Nordic countries, Central and Eastern Europe presented higher current levels and increasing trend of cancer mortality. Age-standardized rates for overall cancer mortality increased at an annual average of 2.43% in Central and Eastern European countries during the period from 1980 to 2001, while the European Union, Nordic countries and Switzerland underwent an average decrease of 7.27% per year. Trends in cancer death rates were associated with indices of welfare and socio-economic status at the country level: gross national product, health expenditure, unemployment, food intake, smoking habits and air pollution. Concurrent with this observation, we registered an extended gap in standings for these figures between richer and poorer European countries. These observations suggest that part of cancer mortality in Central and Eastern Europe could be prevented with current technology and health promotion. The drop of rates in Nordic and Western European countries indicates a progress in cancer control that, regrettably, does not hold for the whole Continent.

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Accession: 050851983

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PMID: 14512800

DOI: 10.1097/00008469-200310000-00004

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