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Lung cancer in South Africa: a forecast to 2025 based on smoking prevalence data
  1. Volker Winkler1,
  2. Nosimanana J Mangolo1,
  3. Heiko Becher1,2
  1. 1Institut für Public Health, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  2. 2Institut für Medizinische Biometrie und Epidemiologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Volker Winkler; volker.winkler{at}


Objective This study aims to forecast lung cancer mortality with respect to recent changes in smoking prevalence and compares the results to estimates from GLOBOCAN and the Global Burden of Disease study.

Setting An established epidemiological model is applied to detailed smoking prevalence data from South Africa to estimate lung cancer mortality from 2010 to 2025.

Participants Data from the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2003 was analysed by sex and ethnic group, and combined with longitudinal estimates on smoking prevalence from 1980 to 2010.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Results provide detailed data on tobacco smoking behaviour by age, sex and ethnic group as well as modelled age-adjusted lung cancer mortality and number of yearly lung cancer deaths.

Results From 2010 to 2025, a decrease in age-adjusted lung cancer mortality is shown from 17.1 to 14.1 among men; whereas rates were stable around 7.2 among women. As a consequence, the estimated number of yearly lung cancer deaths is expected to increase slightly for men and more for women. With respect to ethnic groups, male mortality is expected to be highest for Asians and lowest for blacks. Female rates were lowest for Asians and highest for whites and for coloured.

Conclusions Mortality estimates of this study are close to the WHO mortality database and to Global Burden of Disease estimates for 2010, but significantly lower compared with GLOBOCAN estimates. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the impact of demographic changes and the positive effects of antismoking policy on lung cancer mortality in South Africa. Results may help decision makers to further improve smoking control.


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