Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
BASILIO, Denise Vianna and MATTOS, Inês Echenique. Cancer in elderly women in the South and Southeast regions of Brazil: mortality trends in the 1980- 2005 period. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.2, pp.204-214. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2008000200003.
INTRODUCTION: With the gradual aging of the Brazilian population, cancer has gained an increasingly important role as a cause of morbidity and mortality. The South and Southeast regions of Brazil present the highest rates of cancer mortality and are inhabited by the greatest number of elderly people. OBJECTIVE: To analyze patterns of mortality for selected cancer sites in the female population of 60 years of age or older in the South and Southeast regions of Brazil, in the 1980-2005 period. METHOD: Population and mortality data for all cancers and for esophageal, gastric, colon/rectal, pancreas, breast, and uterine cervix cancer, by year of the study period, were obtained from the Ministry of Health/DATASUS. Regression models were estimated to analyze trends in mortality rates for three age groups: 60-69 years, 70-79 years, and 80 years or more. RESULTS: Mortality rates for colon-rectal, pancreas, lung and breast cancer showed significantly rising trends in all age groups in both regions. A significant decreasing trend was observed for gastric cancer in the three age groups, both in the South and in the Southeast region, while significantly decreasing trends were observed for esophageal cancer only in the Southeast region CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of cancer mortality in elderly women of the South and Southeast regions of Brazil follow world-wide trends and important changes in these trends occurred during the study period. Mechanisms involved in the behavior of cancer mortality in aging individuals, still unknown to a large extent, and regional and generational differences in the prevalence of risk and protective factors for cancer could partially explain some of the patterns observed. Further studies on cancer mortality in aging individuals are needed to extend our present knowledge.
Keywords : Mortality; Cancer; Elderly women.