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BMJ Glob Health. 2021 Nov;6(11):e004128. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004128.
INTRODUCTION: The current study determined the level and trends associated with the incidence, death and disability rates for bladder cancer and its attributable risk factors in 204 countries and territories, from 1990 to 2019, by age, sex and sociodemographic index (SDI; a composite measure of sociodemographic factors).
METHODS: Various data sources from different countries, including vital registration and cancer registries were used to generate estimates. Mortality data and incidence data transformed to mortality estimates using the mortality to incidence ratio (MIR) were used in a cause of death ensemble model to estimate mortality. Mortality estimates were divided by the MIR to produce incidence estimates. Prevalence was calculated using incidence and MIR-based survival estimates. Age-specific mortality and standardised life expectancy were used to estimate years of life lost (YLLs). Prevalence was multiplied by disability weights to estimate years lived with disability (YLDs), while disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are the sum of the YLLs and YLDs. All estimates were presented as counts and age-standardised rates per 100 000 population.
RESULTS: Globally, there were 524 000 bladder cancer incident cases (95% uncertainty interval 476 000 to 569 000) and 229 000 bladder cancer deaths (211 000 to 243 000) in 2019. Age-standardised death rate decreased by 15.7% (8.6 to 21.0), during the period 1990-2019. Bladder cancer accounted for 4.39 million (4.09 to 4.70) DALYs in 2019, and the age-standardised DALY rate decreased significantly by 18.6% (11.2 to 24.3) during the period 1990-2019. In 2019, Monaco had the highest age-standardised incidence rate (31.9 cases (23.3 to 56.9) per 100 000), while Lebanon had the highest age-standardised death rate (10.4 (8.1 to 13.7)). Cabo Verde had the highest increase in age-standardised incidence (284.2% (214.1 to 362.8)) and death rates (190.3% (139.3 to 251.1)) between 1990 and 2019. In 2019, the global age-standardised incidence and death rates were higher among males than females, across all age groups and peaked in the 95+ age group. Globally, 36.8% (28.5 to 44.0) of bladder cancer DALYs were attributable to smoking, more so in males than females (43.7% (34.0 to 51.8) vs 15.2% (10.9 to 19.4)). In addition, 9.1% (1.9 to 19.6) of the DALYs were attributable to elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (males 9.3% (1.6 to 20.9); females 8.4% (1.6 to 19.1)).
CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in the burden of bladder cancer between countries during the period 1990-2019. Although there was a clear global decrease in the age-standardised death, and DALY rates, some countries experienced an increase in these rates. National policy makers should learn from these differences, and allocate resources for preventative measures, based on their country-specific estimates. In addition, smoking and elevated FPG play an important role in the burden of bladder cancer and need to be addressed with prevention programmes.