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IJERPH, Vol. 12, Pages 12196-12211: High Cancer Burden in Elderly Chinese, 2005–2011

29 Sep 2015

Objective: Cancer risk increases with age, creating a challenge for the Chinese health system. To inform public health policy and research, we evaluated the cancer burden in elderly Chinese. Methods: Based on the published Chinese Cancer Registry Annual Report or related literature and the China Population and Employment Statistics Yearbooks, we estimated the cancer burden of elderly Chinese, who were representative of the Chinese population. We calculated the cancer incidence, cancer-related mortality, potential years of life lost (PYLL), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2005–2011 by age, sex, district (rural, urban), and calendar year using national cancer registry, publication, and census data. The relative ratios (RRs) were determined between the elderly (≥60 years) and young (<60 years). Results: Cancer incidence and related mortality in the elderly were 8.47 and 13.96 times, respectively, those in the young. The PYLL and DALY rates of the elderly were 1.63 and 5.00 times, respectively, those in the young. The PYLL and DALY rates for elderly men and rural districts were higher than for elderly women and urban districts. The RRs for male sex and rural districts were higher than for female sex and urban districts. RRs increased sharply from 2005 to 2011. Conclusions: The cancer burden in elderly Chinese was higher in men and rural districts than in women and urban districts, which creates considerable challenges for the Chinese health care system. Comprehensive measures for cancer prevention and treatment in the elderly are needed.

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