Background: The lung is the most common site for cancer and has the highest worldwide cancer-related mortality. Our study reports and compares trends in lung cancer mortality in the USA and 26 European countries.
Study design and methods: Lung cancer mortality data were extracted for males and females for each of the years 2000-2017 from the World Health Organization (WHO) Mortality and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER databases. Lung cancer mortality trends were compared using Joinpoint regression analysis, and male-to-female mortality ratios were calculated.
Results: Down-trending lung cancer mortality rates were observed in males in all countries except Cyprus and Portugal between 2000 and 2017. In females, increasing mortality rates were observed in 22 of the 27 countries analysed. Latvia had the highest estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) in male mortality (-9.6%) between 2013 and 2015. In the USA, EAPCs were -5.1% for males and -4.2% for females between 2014 and 2017. All countries had an overall decrease in the ratio of male-to-female lung cancer mortality. The most recent observation of median male-to-female mortality was 2.26 (IQR 1.92-4.05). The countries with the greatest current sex disparity in lung cancer mortality were Lithuania (5.51) and Latvia (5.00).
Conclusion: Between 2000 and 2017, lung cancer mortality rates were decreasing for males in Europe and the USA, whereas increasing lung cancer mortality rates were generally observed in females. There is a persistent but decreasing sex-mortality gap, with men having persistently greater lung cancer mortality but with rates decreasing faster than women.