Indexed on: 10 Nov '13Published on: 10 Nov '13Published in: Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Few studies have examined trends in pancreatic cancer death rates in the United States, and there have been no studies examining recent trends using age-period-cohort analysis.Annual percentage change in pancreatic cancer death rates was calculated for 1970 to 2009 by sex and race among adults aged 35 to 84 years using US mortality data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics and Joinpoint Regression. Age-period-cohort modeling was performed to evaluate the changes in cohort and period effects. All statistical tests were two-sided.In white men, pancreatic cancer death rates decreased by 0.7% per year from 1970 to 1995 and then increased by 0.4% per year through 2009. Among white women, rates increased slightly from 1970 to 1984, stabilized until the late 1990s, then increased by 0.5% per year through 2009. In contrast, the rates among blacks increased between 1970 and the late 1980s (women) or early 1990s (men) and then decreased thereafter. Age-period-cohort analysis showed that pancreatic cancer death risk was highest for the 1900 to 1910 birth cohort in men and the 1920 to 1930 birth cohort in women and there was a statistically significant increase in period effects since the late 1990s in both white men and white women (two-sided Wald test, P < .001).In the United States, whites and blacks experienced opposite trends in pancreatic cancer death rates between 1970 and 2009 that are largely unexplainable by known risk factors. This study underscores the needs for urgent action to curb the increasing trends of pancreatic cancer in whites and for better understanding of the etiology of this disease.