In some European countries, female lung cancer mortality and incidence have started to decrease or flatten out, whereas they are still rising in The Netherlands. We present recent mortality and incidence trends of lung cancer and smoking trends in The Netherlands to show the end of the lung cancer epidemic in Dutch women. Lung cancer mortality and incidence rates by gender were analyzed for 4 age groups (20-44, 45-49, 50-54 and 55-59), and smoking prevalence rates were examined for women using joinpoint regression and birth cohort analysis. Data on mortality were collected for the period 1960-2006, incidence for the period 1989-2003 and smoking prevalence for the period 1988-2007. Because of decreasing lung cancer mortality and incidence rates among males and dramatically increasing rates among females, rates of young males were surpassed by those of females after the mid-1990s. However, although in young women (20-49) mortality increased with 4-5% per year, it flattened out (no significant in- or decreases) since 1999. Among older women, mortality rates were still increasing markedly. Mortality rates and smoking prevalence tended to decrease in women born after the 1950s. This is the first report suggesting that the lung cancer epidemic in Dutch women is coming to an end. Although the increase in lung cancer incidence and mortality among Dutch women has been one of the most dramatic in Europe, the recent decrease in young women is expected to be followed by a future leveling off or a slight decrease in overall female lung cancer rates.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.