Regional Disparities in Avoidable Cancer Mortality in Germany: Does the North-South Gradient Supersede the ‘Traditional’ East-West Divide?

Michael Muehlichen , Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Ronny Westerman, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Regional variations in avoidable cancer mortality (ACM) in Germany have been dominated by the ‘traditional’ East-West divide for many years. However, Eastern Germany has experienced a fundamental political and economic transition with corresponding advancements of the healthcare system, which led to a partial adjustment of ACM to the level of Western Germany. This development raises the question if the East-West divide in ACM will be replaced by other regional disparities. We provide long-term trend analyses with estimates of standardized death rates of preventable and amenable cancer mortality for three geographic super-regions – Northwestern, Southwestern and Eastern Germany – for the period of 1990–2014, using rate ratios for relative comparisons. As a result, the ‘traditional’ East-West divide is still evident in men but our analyses provide strong evidence for an establishing north-south divide in ACM, particularly among women. This north-south gradient will potentially drive the future trends of cancer-related mortality in Germany.

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 Presented in Session 61. Geographic Patterns of Morbidity and Mortality