Effect of age, birth cohort and period of death on skin melanoma mortality in Spain, 1975 through 2004

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Recent statistics cohort analysis of mortality reveals that skin melanoma rates are dropping in the younger cohorts. Therefore, the aim of this study is to provide up-to-date information and to analyze recent changes in skin melanoma mortality trends in Spain during the period of 1975–2004 using joinpoint regression and age–period–cohort models. Between 1975 and 2004, the age-standardized (overall) mortality rates for skin melanoma increased from 0.3 to 1.3 per 100,000 person-years for males and from 0.2 to 0.8 per 100,000 person-years for females, with an estimated annual percentage of change of 4.8 and 4.3%, respectively. In men and women, the best fit was found for the full model, which simultaneously considered the effects of age, period and cohort. The risks among both males and females increased in each successive birth cohort born between 1895 and 1950. Thereafter, the risks declined through the most recent birth cohort born in 1970. Examination of the mortality trends by age group and birth cohort revealed that the recent less rapidly rising (men) or stabilizing (women) age-adjusted skin melanoma mortality rates in Spain were a result of declining mortality in the younger age groups and more recent birth cohorts. The particularly favorable trends in young people suggest that a further decline in mortality from skin melanoma in Spain is likely to occur within the next few years.

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