Research Article

Analysis of trends in cancer mortality in England and Wales during 1951-80 separating changes associated with period of birth and period of death.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 03 April 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1005
  1. C Osmond,
  2. M J Gardner,
  3. E D Acheson


    Cancer mortality rates in England and Wales were analysed so to describe simultaneously changes affecting successive generations--that is, associated with period of birth--as well as changes associated with the period of which the deaths took place. When mortality from all cancers was considered the analysis implied that, contrary to a widely held view, the rate of death from cancer had been declining in each sex in successive generations. For men the decline had occurred in generations born since 1900, whereas for women the peak came in the 1925 birth group. On the other hand, there had been little decline in the rates associated with period of death. Five examples of cancers of specific organs for which the trends contrasted are shown.