Malignant melanoma mortality rates in Chile (1988–98)

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BackgroundMalignant melanoma (MM) mortality has increased in the Caucasian population many fold over the past several decades. In this study, we analyzed the Chilean-specific, age-adjusted MM mortality rates per 100,000 population during the decade 1988–98 in order to establish changes in that period.MethodsWe analyzed all death certificates from the Chilean Death Registry Office (1988–98) and retrieved the deaths attributed to MM. The data were categorized according to sex and age group. The annual age-adjusted and sex-specific rates of MM mortality per 100,000 population were calculated.ResultsChilean MM mortality rates increased by 14% between 1988 and 1998. The relative risk for males vs. females was 1.3 with a tendency to rise, showing an increase of 30%. The relative risk of dying from MM in Chile increased linearly with age. An individual of 75 years or older had a 44.24 times greater risk of dying of MM than an individual in the 0–44-year age group. The rates in the > 75-year age group also showed a tendency to rise over the decade, with an increase of 64% (1988–98).ConclusionsThe Chilean MM mortality rates are lower than the world standardized rates. The total Chilean MM mortality rates showed an increase over the decade 1988–98, mainly due to MM mortality in males. The MM mortality in Chilean females was lower than that in males, and was unchanged over the decade; this is in agreement with the results reported in other countries. This is one of the first studies of MM mortality in the Chilean population. The results are important when the geographic location of Chile is considered.

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