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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Oral cavity cancer trends over the past 25 years in Hong Kong: a multidirectional statistical analysis

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Keisuke Ushida, Colman P McGrath, Edward C M Lo, Roger A Zwahlen
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

KU participated in the design of the study, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. CPM and ECML participated in the design of the study and helped to draft the manuscript. RAZ helped in the conceptualization of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Even though oral cavity cancer (OCC; ICD 10 codes C01, C02, C03, C04, C05, and C06) ranks eleventh among the world’s most common cancers, accounting for approximately 2 % of all cancers, a trend analysis of OCC in Hong Kong is lacking. Hong Kong has experienced rapid economic growth with socio-cultural and environmental change after the Second World War. This together with the collected data in the cancer registry provides interesting ground for an epidemiological study on the influence of socio-cultural and environmental factors on OCC etiology.


A multidirectional statistical analysis of the OCC trends over the past 25 years was performed using the databases of the Hong Kong Cancer Registry. The age, period, and cohort (APC) modeling was applied to determine age, period, and cohort effects on OCC development. Joinpoint regression analysis was used to find secular trend changes of both age-standardized and age-specific incidence rates.


The APC model detected that OCC development in men was mainly dominated by the age effect, whereas in women an increasing linear period effect together with an age effect became evident. The joinpoint regression analysis showed a general downward trend of age-standardized incidence rates of OCC for men during the entire investigated period, whereas women demonstrated a significant upward trend from 2001 onwards.


The results suggest that OCC incidence in Hong Kong appears to be associated with cumulative risk behaviors of the population, despite considerable socio-cultural and environmental changes after the Second World War.
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