Trends of oral cavity, oropharyngeal and laryngeal cancer incidence in Scotland (1975-2012) - A socioeconomic perspective

Mitana Purkayastha (Corresponding Author), Alex D McMahon, John Gibson, David I Conway

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38 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To examine current incidence trends (1975-2012) of oral cavity (OCC), oropharyngeal (OPC) and laryngeal cancer in Scotland by socioeconomic status (SES).

METHODS: We included all diagnosed cases of OCC (C00.3-C00.9, C02-C06 excluding C2.4), OPC (C01, C2.4, C09-C10, C14) and laryngeal cancer (C32) on the Scottish Cancer Registry (1975-2012) and annual midterm population estimates by age, sex, geographic region and SES indices (Carstairs 1991 and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2009). Age-standardized incidence rates were computed and adjusted Poisson regression rate-ratios (RR) compared subsites by age, sex, region, SES and year of diagnosis.

RESULTS: We found 28,217 individuals (19,755 males and 8462 females) diagnosed with head and neck cancer (HNC) over the study period. Between 1975 and 2012, relative to the least deprived areas, those living in the most deprived areas exhibited the highest RR (>double) of OCC, OPC and laryngeal cancer, and an almost dose-like response was observed between SES and HNC incidence. Between 2001 and 2012, this socioeconomic inequality tended to increase over time for OPC and laryngeal cancer but remained relatively unchanged for OCC. Incidence rates increased markedly for OPC, decreased for laryngeal cancer and remained stable for OCC, particularly in the last decade. Males exhibited significantly higher RRs compared to females, and the peak age of incidence of OPC was slightly lower than the other subsites.

CONCLUSION: Contrary to reports that OPC exhibits an inverse socioeconomic profile, Scotland country-level data show that those from the most deprived areas consistently have the highest rates of head and neck cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-5
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
Early online date31 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the Scottish Cancer Registry for data access and NHS Education for Scotland for funding this study.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scotland/epidemiology
  • Social Class
  • Young Adult


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