Background: Cancer has become a global health problem. China still suffers continuous increasing cancer mortality. To study the trend of cancer mortality in rural China, this paper established an Age-Period-Cohort model to discuss the age effect, period effect and cohort effect on cancer mortality in rural China.
Methods: The data were collected from the "China Health Statistical Yearbook" from 1990 to 2010. Collected data were analyzed by Age-Period-Cohort model and Intrinsic Estimation method.
Results: The age effect on the total cancer mortality represented a V trend. Compared with Group 0-4, Group 5-9 showed 71.87% lower cancer mortality risk. Compared with Group 5-9, Group 75-79 showed 38 times higher cancer mortality risk. The period effect on the total cancer mortality risk weakened firstly but then increased. It increased by 35.70% from 1990 to 2010, showing an annual average growth of 1.79%. The cohort effect on the total cancer mortality risk weakened by totally 84.94% from 1906-1910 to 2005-2010. Three "deterioration periods" and three "improvement periods" were witnessed during this period. The malignant cancer mortality varied similarly with the total cancer mortality, while benign cancer mortality and other cancer mortality represented different variation laws.
Conclusions: Although the total cancer mortality risk is increasing at an accelerated rate, cancer mortality risk in recent born year is decreasing, indicating very important impact of social change on the cancer mortality in rural China.