Dynamics of Age Change and Sex Differences in Cancer Mortality in the U.S.

Yang Yang, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ting Li, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The age changes of cancer mortality and sex differences therein are important for the understanding of the processes of disease and aging but have not been well studied. We conducted a systematic examination of dynamics and heterogeneity of age changes in cancer mortality using vital statistics from the NCHS and SEER between 1969 and 2007. We assessed both age increase and acceleration in mortality rates for the top 15 cancer sites and compare sex differences therein. We found that the old age deceleration of mortality increment is common to both sexes for most sites. The sex gaps in level of cancer mortality rates are substantial and vary greatly with age, whereas the sex differences in age acceleration are small and relatively constant across age. We discuss these findings in the context of aging related theories such as the estrogenic hypothesis and the multistage model of cancer progression.

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Presented in Session 92: Disease and Aging