Cancer kills more Kiwis than Aussies - study

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

New Zealanders are more likely to die from cancer than Australians, according to new research.

The study, which was published in the latest New Zealand Medical Journal, included details of death and incidence rates for lung cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.

A previous study showed that cancer mortality in New Zealand in 1996-97 was substantially higher than that expected from Australian rates.

This study compared cancer mortality and incidence in New Zealand for 2000-2007 with rates in Australia, to assess if any differences had persisted or changed, co-author and Auckland University specialist in cancer epidemiology Professor Mark Elwood said.

"From this latest study, there were an average of 586 (or 15.5 per cent of the total) more deaths each year from cancer in New Zealand women than expected from Australian rates, and 197 (4.6 per cent) more deaths in men."

There was no significant change over time in these differentials, Professor Elwood said.

However, the rate in cancer deaths was falling, he said.

"Over this time period, cancer mortality has fallen substantially in both countries - from 1990 to 2007 - by about 20 per cent in women and 24 per cent in men.

"It's clear from this study that cancer mortality remains substantially higher in New Zealand than in Australia, especially for women," he said.

While the differences are slightly smaller than in 1996-97, there has been little change since 2000.


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