Cancer of the body of the uterus: trends in mortality and incidence in England, 1985-2008

BJOG. 2012 Feb;119(3):333-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2011.03201.x. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Objective: To report on trends in mortality and incidence for uterine cancer in England, 1985-2008.

Design: Database analysis.

Setting: England.

Population: Data sets of English national mortality and cancer registration statistics.

Methods: Analysis of data from death certificates with a mention of malignant neoplasm of corpus uteri or malignant neoplasm of uterus without specification of part, and analysis of incidence data from cancer registries in England.

Main outcome measures: Age-adjusted and age-specific trends in rates.

Results: Mortality rates in the UK declined from 41.3 per million women in 1985 until about 1999 (30.0 per million), and then increased to 35.9 per million in 2008. Incidence rates for those aged 55 years and over showed little or no change from 1985 to the early 1990s, but then increased: for example, for women aged 60-64 years, the rates per million women in 1985, 1993, 2001 and 2008 were, respectively, 448, 461, 647 and 728. Rates for younger women showed a decline, followed by an increase: for example, for women aged 50-54 years the corresponding rates were 290, 254, 267 and 294. Over the period 2001-2008, the age-adjusted average annual percentage increase was 2.55% per annum (95% CI 2.13-2.98%). The increase in incidence rates, observed from the 1990s, preceded the increase in mortality by about 10 years.

Conclusions: After many years of declining rates, uterine cancer has become more common in the first decade of this century. One possible contributor to this increase may be an association with the increase in body mass index in women, but other causes are possible and are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / mortality