Worldwide Rates of Melanoma Rising for Men, Not Women

A study found that melanoma mortality rates are rising for men but remain stable or are decreasing for women. In the past three decades, male deaths from melanoma were higher than female deaths in 33 developed countries in Europe, North America, and Australasia. 

The researchers conducted an observational analysis of the World Health Organization mortality database between 1985 and 2015, using International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 9th and 10th edition, codes for malignant melanoma to extract age-standardized death rates (ASDRs).  

The highest 3-year average ASDRs for 2013 to 2015 in both men and women were observed in Australia and Slovenia. In Australia, there were 5.72 deaths for every 100,000 men and 2.53 deaths for every 100,000 women. In Slovenia, those rates were 3.86 per 100,000 and 2.58 per 100,000, respectively. For both sexes, Japan had the lowest 3-year average ASDRs, with 0.24 deaths per 100,000 for men and 0.18 deaths per 100,000 women. 

In all countries and across all observation periods, malignant melanoma mortality remained greater in males than females. All countries demonstrated increased mortality rates in males except for the Czech Republic, which demonstrated a single decreasing trend in mortality, with an estimated annual percentage change –0.7%. More countries exhibited decreasing or stable malignant melanoma mortality in females, with Israel and the Czech Republic demonstrating the highest decreases in mortality (–23.4% and –15.5%, respectively). 

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