Lung Cancer Deaths Declining for Europe's Men

But the reverse is true for women, study finds

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FRIDAY, July 22, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- Lung cancer deaths for men are falling in most European Union countries, including all new member states from central and eastern Europe, according to a study in this week's issue of the British Medical Journal.

Only four countries -- Portugal, Greece, Spain and France -- showed no evidence of a decline in the male death rate across the 35-to-54 age range, the point in the lifespan when up to 90 percent of cases are caused by smoking.

However, increasing numbers of European women are dying from lung cancer, the study found. The greatest increases were in France, Spain and Hungary, with rates for women in Hungary exceeding those for women in all other member states.

Researchers suggested that changes in cigarette manufacturing may have contributed to the decline in lung cancer among young men. In Poland, for example, tar yields fell by more than half between 1984 and 1999.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about lung cancer.

SOURCES: British Medical Journal, news release, July 21, 2005

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