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Age-specific cancer mortality trends in 16 countries


  • Lee Liu

    () (University of Central Missouri)

  • Kristen Liu

    (Independent Scholar)


Abstract Objectives This study explored previously little-known cancer mortality trends with a focus on changes with age and sex differences in 16 countries. Methods Time series age–sex-specific cancer mortality, deaths from all causes, and population data were used for statistical description. Results The cancer mortality rate (CMR) peaked and declined with age in 11 countries. CMRs appeared to peak earlier and decline more dramatically in earlier time periods rather than later periods and for males rather than females. CMR peaking could have possibly been historically delayed. Moreover, “percentage of deaths from cancer” (PDC) in all 16 countries plunged after about age 60. Middle-aged women may have higher CMRs than men. Premenopausal women may have higher PDCs than postmenopausal women. Conclusions The findings make significant contributions to the literature, though their interpretation and application have limitations due to data quality and availability. Future research should explore if and how the findings apply to other countries and time periods. Public health practitioners and policy makers should consider age–sex-specific strategies for more effective cancer control.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee Liu & Kristen Liu, 2016. "Age-specific cancer mortality trends in 16 countries," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(7), pages 751-763, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:61:y:2016:i:7:d:10.1007_s00038-016-0858-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-016-0858-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herman Oyen & Wilma Nusselder & Carol Jagger & Petra Kolip & Emmanuelle Cambois & Jean-Marie Robine, 2013. "Gender differences in healthy life years within the EU: an exploration of the “health–survival” paradox," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(1), pages 143-155, February.
    2. Mahiben Maruthappu & Robert Watson & Johnathan Watkins & Callum Williams & Thomas Zeltner & Omar Faiz & Raghib Ali & Rifat Atun, 2016. "Unemployment, public-sector healthcare expenditure and colorectal cancer mortality in the European Union: 1990–2009," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(1), pages 119-130, January.
    3. Douglas Dix, 2014. "The female health-survival advantage: paradox unwarranted," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 59(1), pages 213-213, February.
    4. Domantas Jasilionis & Giedre Smailyte & Ieva Vincerzevskiene & Vladimir Shkolnikov, 2015. "Educational differentials in cancer mortality and avoidable deaths in Lithuania, 2001–2009: a census-linked study," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(8), pages 919-926, December.
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    1. repec:spr:ijphth:v:63:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s00038-018-1097-3 is not listed on IDEAS


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