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Cancer. 1997 Mar 15;79(6):1195-202.

Descriptive epidemiology of cerebral gliomas in France.

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INSERM U 134, Department of Neurology, Hopital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.



Descriptive epidemiology of cerebral gliomas has recently been the subject of several studies, indicating a possible increase in brain tumor rates, particularly in the elderly population.


Between 1983 and 1990, 1376 registered patients with diagnoses of malignant astrocytomas, low grade astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas - mixed oligoastrocytomas, and tumors without histologic confirmation were reviewed in 6 French cancer registries. The incidence rates by histologic type, age, and gender were calculated. The variation of the incidence between 1983 and 1990 was also analyzed.


The highest incidence was observed in the malignant astrocytoma group (2.38/100,000/year) followed by the low grade astrocytoma group (0.54/100,000/year) and the oligodendroglioma - mixed oligoastrocytoma group (0.25/100,000/year). A significant male predominance was observed in the malignant astrocytoma group (male/female [M/F] ratio of 1.59; P < 0.001) and in the group without histologic confirmation (M/F ratio of 2.6; P = 0.008). Between 1983 and 1990, an increasing trend of 5% per year was observed in the incidence of malignant astrocytomas in the population older than 65 years.


These data confirm the observation made in other countries that the incidence of primary brain tumors (particularly malignant astrocytomas) is increasing in elderly patients.

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