Mortality from stomach cancer has fallen steadily during the past decades. The aim of this paper is to assess the implication of a possible continuation of the decline in stomach cancer mortality until the year 2030. Annual rates of decline in stomach cancer mortality from 1980 to 2005 were determined for the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, and four Nordic countries on the basis of regression analysis. Mortality rates were extrapolated until 2030, assuming the same rate of decline as in the past, using three possible scenarios. The absolute numbers of deaths were projected taking into account data on the ageing of national populations. Stomach cancer mortality rates declined between 1980 and 2005 at about the same rate (3.6–4.9% per year) for both men and women in all countries. The rate of decline did not level off in recent years, and it was not smaller in countries with lower overall mortality rates in 1980. If this decline were to continue into the future, stomach cancer mortality rates would decline with about 66% between 2005 and 2030 in most populations, while the absolute number of stomach cancer deaths would diminish by about 50%. Thus, in view of the strong, stable and consistent mortality declines in recent decades, and despite population ageing, stomach cancer is likely to become far less important as a cause of death in Europe in the future.

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European Journal of Epidemiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Amiri, M, Janssen, F, & Kunst, A.E. (2011). The decline in stomach cancer mortality: exploration of future trends in seven European countries. European Journal of Epidemiology, 26(1), 23–28. doi:10.1007/s10654-010-9522-9