Age-period-cohort analyses of breast-, ovarian-, endometrial- and cervical-cancer mortality rates for Caucasian women in the USA.J Epidemiol Biostat. 2000; 5(4):221-31.JE
Age-period-cohort analyses of US breast-cancer mortality rates reveal an unexpected decrease in risk for women born after 1948. Hormones are thought to play an important role in the aetiology of breast cancer and female gynaecologic cancers, and thus the evaluation of birth-cohort trends for female gynaecologic cancers may shed light on the declining breast-cancer risk among 'baby-boomers'.
Age-period-cohort analyses are applied to US mortality rates for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and cervical cancer from 1950 through 1995.
Age-period-cohort analyses provide no clues regarding the declining birth-cohort risk for breast cancer in 'baby-boomers'. The birth-cohort curves for ovarian and endometrial cancers are roughly similar, and largely explained by known risk factors. The calendar-period curve for endometrial cancer reveals increased risk between 1960 and 1980, probably due to increased use of oestrogen replacement therapy. Changes in the birth-cohort curve for cervical cancer reflect, for the most part, changes in sexual activity. An unexpected significant increase in the calendar-period curve for ovarian cancer occurred around 1980.
Most of the major changes in the calendar-period and birth-cohort curves for breast cancer and female gynaecologic cancers can be explained by documented changes in known risk factors and in medical practice. The decreasing breast-cancer birth-cohort risk among 'baby-boomers' and the increasing ovarian-cancer calendar-period curve after 1980 are recent changes that require further investigation.