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Eur J Cancer Prev. 1994 Sep;3(5):419-25.

Lung cancer in Estonia in 1968-87: time trends and public health implications.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Tallinn, Estonia.


Changes in lung cancer incidence and mortality in Estonia were studied for 20 years (1968-87). A steady upward trend was observed for men and women. The 1983-87/1968-72 age-standardized incidence rate ratio was 1.22 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15-1.29) in men and 1.34 (95% CI 1.16-1.54) in women. The corresponding mortality rate ratio was 1.26 (95% CI 1.18-1.34) in men and 1.35 (95% CI 1.16-1.57) in women. The age-specific incidence and mortality rates increased clearly towards the younger birth cohorts. For men and women, the increase was most evident for the age group 45-64 years. In women there was a more rapid increase in incidence and mortality than in men. It may be a result of a substantial increase of tobacco smoking, particularly among women, after the World War II. The high and still rising occurrence of lung cancer is closely related to the high prevalence of smoking; in addition, high tar yields in domestic cigarettes could have been responsible for an elevated lung cancer risk during the past decades. There is not tobacco control programme in Estonia, and existing legislation and regulations do not defend the non-smoking population.

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