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Educational differentials in cancer mortality and avoidable deaths in Lithuania, 2001–2009: a census-linked study

Abstract

Objectives

We investigate relative mortality inequalities by education for detailed cancer sites and provide estimates of deaths which could have been avoided through the elimination of these inequalities.

Methods

A census-linked dataset based on a follow-up of all residents registered in the 2001 census was used for the analysis. Mortality rate ratios were estimated by employing multivariate Poisson regression models for count data.

Results

An inverse educational gradient was observed for 11 cancer sites among men and for three cancer sites among women. Substantial shares of these cancer deaths would have been avoided if mortality among less educated groups had been the same as mortality among highly educated groups.

Conclusions

Cancer control plans must consider socioeconomic inequalities and propose ways to improve prevention measures aimed at disadvantaged groups.

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the European Social Fund under the Global Grant measure (Grant No. VP1-3.1-SMM-07-K-02-067). The authors would like to thank Statistics Lithuania for compiling and providing the high-quality, aggregated census-linked dataset used in this study. We are also very grateful to Prof. V. Stankuniene (Lithuanian Social Research Centre) and Dalia Ambrozaitiene (Statistics Lithuania) for their contributions to the census-linked data project.

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Correspondence to Domantas Jasilionis.

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Jasilionis, D., Smailyte, G., Vincerzevskiene, I. et al. Educational differentials in cancer mortality and avoidable deaths in Lithuania, 2001–2009: a census-linked study. Int J Public Health 60, 919–926 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0745-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0745-0

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Mortality
  • Education
  • Avoidable deaths
  • Eastern Europe
  • Lithuania