Central European mortality rates for cancer sites related to tobacco and alcohol have increased rapidly in recent decades. From a public health point of view, it is of considerable interest to know whether these past increases in cancer mortality will continue into the future. Cancer mortality rates for the period 1965-1994 in Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia (analysed together), Hungary, Poland, and Romania were analysed for cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas. Using a Bayesian age-period-cohort approach, we have calculated smoothed observed rates. The effects of period and cohort were extrapolated to estimate mortality projections for 1995-99, 2004-09, and 2005-09. Mortality rates for all sites are projected to increase in most countries. Hungary has the highest projected rates for most sites, and particularly rapid increases are expected for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx and of the larynx in Hungarian men. The smoothed 1990-94 male mortality rates for these two sites of 16. 32/100,000 and 8.70/100,000, respectively, are projected to reach 35. 17/100,000 for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx and 14.12/100, 000 for cancer of the larynx by the period 2000-04. For kidney cancer, former Czechoslovakia has the highest observed and projected mortality rates. The smoothed 1990-94 rate of 8.37/100,000 is expected to increase 24% to 10.38/100,000 by 2000-04. Our results indicate that further increases may be expected on top of the already high cancer mortality levels in Central Europe. Policies to reduce alcohol consumption and prevent smoking in younger generations are necessary to reduce mortality as these cohorts age.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.