Age-period-cohort analysis of oral cancer mortality in Europe: The end of an epidemic?

Martina Bonifazi, Matteo Malvezzi, Paola Bertuccio, Valeria Edefonti, Werner Garavello, Fabio Levi, Carlo La Vecchia, Eva Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, mortality from oral and pharyngeal cancer has been declining in most European countries, but it had been increasing substantially in Hungary, Slovakia and a few other countries of central Europe, reaching rates comparable to those of lung cancer in several western European countries in males. To update trends in oral cancer mortality and further analyse the recent epidemic in central Europe, official death certifications for oral and pharyngeal cancer for 37 European countries were derived over the period 1970-2007, and an age-period-cohort model was fitted for selected countries. Male oral cancer mortality continued to decline in most European countries, including the Russian Federation, and, more importantly, it also started to decline in some of the countries with the highest male rates, i.e. Hungary and Slovakia; persisting rises were, however, observed in Belarus, Bulgaria and Romania. Oral cancer mortality rates for women were lower than in men and showed no appreciable trend over recent periods in the EU overall. Estimates from the age-period-cohort analysis for most selected countries showed a fall in effects for the cohorts born after the 1950s. For the period effect displayed a rise for the earlier periods, an inversion in the 1990s and a continuous fall up to the last studied period. Only some former non-market economy countries, like Romania, Ukraine and Lithuania, had rising cohort effect trends up to most recent generations. The major finding of this updated analysis of oral cancer mortality is the leveling of the epidemic for men in most European countries, including Hungary and other central European countries, where mortality from this cancer was exceedingly high. These trends essentially reflect the changes in alcohol and tobacco consumption in various populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-407
Number of pages8
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Age-period-cohort analysis
  • Europe
  • Mortality
  • Oral cancer
  • Pharyngeal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Cancer Research


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