Melanoma mortality rising in men but static or falling in women


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Noticias Médicas Univadis
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Global mortality rates for malignant melanoma (MM) are on the increase among men, while rates have decreased or stabilised for women, data from 33 countries suggests.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) mortality database between 1985 and 2015 show that, in all countries, MM mortality remained greater in males than females across the observation period.

All countries demonstrated increased mortality rates in males, except the Czech Republic, which demonstrated a decreasing trend in mortality. Decreasing or stable MM mortality was observed in females, with Israel and the Czech Republic demonstrating the greatest percentage decreases in mortality rates (-23.4% and -15.5%, respectively).

For both sexes, three-year average age-standardised death rates (ASDRs) for 2013-2015 were highest in Australia and Slovenia and lowest in Japan. Rates of death were 5.72/100,000, 3.86/100,000 and 0.24/100,000 respectively in males, and 2.53/100,000, 2.58/100,000 and 0.18/100,000 respectively in females.

The study suggested the persisting global sex disparity is due either to greater increases in mortality rates in males compared to females, or to decreasing or stabilising mortality trends in females not paralleled in males in some regions. 

Future work will explore potential explanatory factors for the observed trends and sex disparity in mortality, the authors said.