Health at a Glance 2007: OECD Indicators (Health at a by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

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Extra resources for Health at a Glance 2007: OECD Indicators (Health at a Glance)

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5. MORTALITY FROM CANCER Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in OECD countries after diseases of the circulatory system, accounting for 27% of all deaths on average in 2004. In 2004, cancer mortality rates for males and females taken together, were lowest in Nordic countries (with the exception of Denmark), Switzerland and Japan. 5a). Denmark also reports relatively high mortality rates from cancer for both males and females. Differences in death rates from cancer across countries can be explained both by non-medical factors, including the population’s exposure to risk factors (such as smoking), and medical factors, including early diagnosis and effective treatment of different types of cancer (see the section on cancer care in Chapter 6 on quality of care).

Obesity rates in many western European countries have also increased substantially over the past decade. In many countries, the rise in obesity has affected all population groups, regardless of sex, age, race, income or education level. Evidence from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom indicates that obesity tends to be more common among individuals in disadvantaged socio-economic groups than in more affluent groups (Statistics Canada and CDC, 2004). This is particularly true in women, while the gradient is absent, or much less pronounced, in men.

2). These are all countries where smoking rates among men have traditionally been, and continue to be, relatively high. 1 “Tobacco consumption”). Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in all OECD countries (IARC, 2004). In many countries, it accounts for 30% or more of cancer incidence among women, and 15% to 20% of cancer deaths. While there has been an increase in measured incidence rates of breast cancer in most countries over the past decade, death rates from breast cancer have declined or remained stable in most countries, indicating increases in survival rates due to earlier diagnosis and/or better treatments (see section on cancer care in Chapter 6).

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