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Martin Meyer, Anja Gärtig-Daugs and Martin Radespiel-Tröger (2006)

Geographic Differences of Cancer Mortality in Bavaria*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 31, 2/2006, p. 231-256, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

Geographic differences in cancer mortality are a frequent topic for discussion in the public and political arenas in Bavaria. The Bavarian population-based cancer registry hence analyzed cancer-related deaths in Bavaria broken down by all types of tumour site to find indications of possible reasons for mortality differences.

The Bavarian mortality statistics by causes of death were analyzed by types of tumour site at the level of all districts, using the European standard population for age-standardisation. A statistical test for the homogeneity of spatial distributions was applied to assess regional differences. Additional variables taken from the incidence database from the cancer registry were included.

Significant regional differences could be found mainly for those tumour sites which are commonly related to risk factors of smoking, alcohol and diet, i.e. tumours of the oral cavity, pharynx, lung as well as stomach, colon and rectum. No relevant geographic differences were found for tumour types such as lymphoma, leukaemia and brain tumours, which – according to current knowledge – are not related to individual lifestyles.

After inclusion of incidence data from the cancer registry it can be assumed that socio-economic factors and individual behaviour might have an influence on regional cancer mortality.

* peer-reviewed article (original German title: Regionale Unterschiede der Krebsmortalität in Bayern)

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