Introduction Incidence and mortality of haematological malignancies have been increasing in Brazil, as a great number of individuals reach the age of 60 years. The aim of this study was to analyse patterns of mortality from haematological cancers in older Brazilians.
Methods Deaths from haematological malignancies in individuals of 60 or more years in 11 States were identified in the Mortality Information System, a population-based nationwide registry. Population data was obtained from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Polynomial regression was used to analyse trends in age-adjusted and age-specific mortality rates.
Results Leukaemia showed the highest rates, varying from 11.96 to 17.58 per 100 000. Trends of increment were observed in three States, while a declining trend was observed in one. Mortality rates of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma ranged between 6.64 and 16.35 per 100 000 and presented regional variability, with declining trends in South and Southeast States and increments in Central-West States. Mortality rates for myeloma showed steady increasing trends in four States. For Hodgkin's disease, declining trends were seen in two States. Trends of increment were observed for leukaemia and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the 80 or more age-group.
Conclusions The Southeast is the most industrialised Brazilian region with major petroleum exploitation and petroleum-based industries. The South and the Central-West are areas of extensive agriculture. Although the aetiology of these malignancies is still largely undefined, they have some common potential risk factors (solvents, pesticides) which could have contributed to the observed trends. These findings need further analysis to better characterise mortality patterns.
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