Monitoring falls in gastric cancer mortality in Europe

Levi, F. ; Lucchini, F. ; Gonzalez, J. R. ; Fernandez, E. ; Negri, E. ; La Vecchia, C.

In: Annals of Oncology, 2004, vol. 15, no. 2, p. 338-345

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    We have considered trends in age-standardized mortality from gastric cancer in 25 individual European countries, as well as in the European Union (EU) as a whole, in six selected central-eastern European countries and in the Russian Federation over the period 1950-1999. Steady and persisting falls in rates were observed, and the fall between 1980 and 1999 was ∼50% in the EU, 45% in eastern Europe and 40% in Russia. However, the declines were greater in Russia and eastern Europe, since rates were much higher, in absolute terms. Joinpoint regression analysis indicated that the falls were proportionally greater in the last decade for men (-3.83% per year in the EU) and in the last 25 years for women (-3.67% per year in the EU) than in previous calendar years. Moreover, steady declines in gastric cancer mortality were observed in the middle-aged and the young population as well, suggesting that they are likely to persist in the near future. In terms of number of deaths avoided, however, the impact of the decline in gastric cancer mortality will be smaller, particularly in the EU