Cancer Mapping pp 163-175 | Cite as

Cancer Mortality Statistics: Availability and Quality Aspects of Mortality Data Worldwide

  • H. Hansluwka
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 114)


Ever since demography became a social science and interest in public health developed, the analysis of mortality data has been the cornerstone for evaluating the state of health in a country and a foundation for remedial action. Mortality data are used:
  1. 1.
    At government level
    1. a)

      To contribute to societal monitoring as a basis for the delimitation of social policy objectives and priorities

    2. b)

      To assess and monitor the state of public health as a basis for the setting of priorities and the allocation and distribution of funds to and within the health sector

    3. c)

      To identify target groups for remedial action and intervention programmes

    4. d)

      To assess the effectiveness and impact of social policy measures, including health intervention programmes

    5. e)

      To provide, by computing life and related attrition tables, essential background information for decision making on specific social and economic aspects such as duration of working life and age at retirement, financing of health (life) insurance and the pension system(s), and family welfare measures

  2. 2.
    At research level
    1. a)

      To study patterns of demographic changes

    2. b)

      To study trends and differences in mortality between as well as within countries

    3. c)

      To test hypotheses in epidemiological studies

    4. d)

      As endpoints in cohort studies and as a source for record-linkage studies such as those on survival experience

    5. e)

      To help in estimating the social and economic costs of ill-health and in cost-effectiveness analyses of different intervention strategies

    6. f)

      As a basis for making predictions about future trends in the population and for health and actuarial projections

    7. g)

      As an integral component in the development of national (subnational) profiles of disease patterns and social inequities

  3. 3.
    1. a)

      To determine annuities and annual premiums for life and health insurance

    2. b)

      In settlement of compensation claims for loss of life in the courts


Information of cancer mortality has been widely used in designing and evaluating cancer-prevention strategies and for formulating and testing hypotheses in epidemiological research. However, without doubt, there still remain unexploited possibilities for the more extensive use of mortality data in research and administration.


Migration Europe Tuberculosis Pyramid Arteriosclerosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Hansluwka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Epidemiologie der NeoplasmenAustria

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