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Cancer Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;34(4):368-72. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2010.04.015. Epub 2010 May 26.

Years of potential life lost caused by prostate cancer deaths in the United States-Projection from 2004 through 2050.

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  • 1National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



The purpose of this study is to estimate and project the number of years of potential life lost (YPLL) among males who die of prostate cancer in the United States from 2004 through 2050 and compare the projections by race/ethnicity and age, accounting for demographic changes and population growth.


We applied the life expectancy method to estimate YPLL caused by deaths of prostate cancer and all cancers in men by using 1999-2004 national mortality data, 2008 census population demographic projections, and 2004 U.S. life tables. We performed sensitivity analyses by varying death rate and population projections, and examined increase in YPLL from population growth, changes in demographics, and death rates.


The number of YPLL caused by prostate cancer deaths was projected to increase by 226.1%, from 291,853 in 2004 to 951,753 in 2050. Hispanics were projected to have the fastest growth in YPLL (977.1% from 2004 to 2050) caused by prostate cancer, followed by non-Hispanic blacks (543.1%), and non-Hispanic others (269.7%). People aged 75 or older was projected to account for 62.0% of YPLL from prostate cancer in 2050 compared with 50.8% in 2004. Of the projected increase in YPLL caused by prostate cancer deaths by 2050, 9.8% were due to changes in demographic composition, 26.8% because of mortality change, and 63.4% because of population growth.


YPLL due to prostate cancer deaths are projected to increase dramatically, and become a greater burden in the future. The projections highlight the importance of comprehensive cancer control and research on cancers including prostate cancer and racial/ethnic-specific estimates.

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