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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


FERRANDO, Josep et al. Trends in cancer mortality in Spain: the influence of the financial crisis. Gac Sanit [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.3, pp.229-234.  Epub Nov 25, 2019. ISSN 0213-9111.


To determine if the onset of the economic crisis in Spain affected cancer mortality and mortality trends.


We conducted a longitudinal ecological study based on all cancer-related deaths and on specific types of cancer (lung, colon, breast and prostate) in Spain between 2000 and 2013. We computed age-standardised mortality rates in men and women, and fit mixed Poisson models to analyse the effect of the crisis on cancer mortality and trends therein.


After the onset of the economic crisis, cancer mortality continued to decline, but with a significant slowing of the yearly rate of decline (men: RR = 0.987, 95%CI = 0.985-0.990, before the crisis, and RR = 0.993, 95%CI = 0.991-0.996, afterwards; women: RR = 0.990, 95%CI = 0.988-0.993, before, and RR = 1.002, 95%CI = 0.998-1.006, afterwards). In men, lung cancer mortality was reduced, continuing the trend observed in the pre-crisis period; the trend in colon cancer mortality did not change significantly and continued to increase; and the yearly decline in prostate cancer mortality slowed significantly. In women, lung cancer mortality continued to increase each year, as before the crisis; colon cancer continued to decease; and the previous yearly downward trend in breast cancer mortality slowed down following the onset of the crisis.


Since the onset of the economic crisis in Spain the rate of decline in cancer mortality has slowed significantly, and this situation could be exacerbated by the current austerity measures in healthcare.

Keywords : Economic crisis; Austerity; Health care cuts; Cancer; Financial crisis; Mortality.

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