Differential cancer morbidity towards year 2000 in a population disease outlook across Europe. II. The male gender

Anticancer Res. 1997 Jul-Aug;17(4A):2707-13.


The conception of new, 'avoidable' life style diseases in affluent Western societies is largely based upon observations in groups of middle-aged urban males with mortality as the major end-point. This applies to cancer, too, and studies of morbidity, where cancer is put within the overall disease spectrum, are called for as a necessary intermediary stage for hypothesis generation and initiation of evaluative and interventive epidemiological projects in the community. Here also the conditions and circumstances that determine health and well being, that is, salutogenetic factors, come increasingly into focus. We made a comparative analysis of the total hospitalization for somatic diseases during 1986-1987 at the Linköping University Hospital in the county of Ostergötland, Sweden and the both complementary and commensurable Heraklion University Hospital on Crete. They are representative of their respective European situations, and are the only somatic hospitals in their regions. Large differences were found with lower morbidity in the more 'Arcadian', rural settings. The results provide valuable data on traits and patterns between earlier surveys such as the Seven Countries study and today. We have earlier reported on the findings from the female group of the two populations, and here wish to concentrate on the males. In particular, cancer is compared with the both prominent and 'archetypical' forms of male ill-health that are comprised by cardiovascular diseases and accidents. We discuss some of the salutogenetic as well as pathogenetic factors that call for closer study in the next stage of our project, whose emblem of Ariadne's thread we feel also has a strong bearing on the masculine gender.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Europe
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden