Overall Mortality - 1979-1997
Colorectal cancer currently accounts for 12 percent of all cancer deaths among New Jersey residents. From 1979 to 1983, the annual number of deaths among men and women due to colorectal cancer rose from 2,304 to 2,415. After 1983 this number decreased to 1,990 cases in 1997. Between 1979 and 1985 the age-adjusted mortality rate fluctuated between 27 per 100,000 and 25 per 100,000, then steadily declined to just below 18 per 100,000 in 1997. The preliminary colorectal cancer mortality data for 1998 show a continued decline in age-adjusted mortality rates for all groups, with the exception of white women, whose rate increased slightly. The 1998 mortality rate of black men, at 25.1 per 100,000, was still greater than that of white men, at 20.2 per 100,000. The same was true of women, with black women at 19.2 deaths per 100,000, and white women at 14.7 per 100,000. (See Figures 21 and 22 and Tables 49 and 50 in Appendix II.)
*Age-adjusted to the 1970 U.S. standard population.
Age-Adjusted Mortality Rates by Race and Gender - 1979-1997
The annual age-adjusted mortality rates for women were consistently lower than those for men from 1979 through 1997, regardless of race. For each of the years from 1979 to 1994, black women had higher, but similar mortality rates compared to white women. After 1994, the rates diverged. Black women's mortality rates increased to just over 22 per 100,000 and leveled off, while white women's mortality rates decreased to 14 per 100,000 in 1997, over a third less than that of black women in 1997. The age-adjusted mortality rate of black women dropped in 1998 to 19.2, but remained above that of white women, which increased slightly to 14.7 per 100,000. Black men had higher mortality rates than white men for many of the years, including the last three years (1995 through 1997). Similarly, preliminary data for 1998 show the mortality rates for white and black men at 20.2 and 25.0, respectively. (See Figure 23 and Tables 49 and 50 in Appendix II.)
Cororectal Cancer Mortality rates
By Gender and Race, New Jersey - 1979-1997*
*Age-adjusted to the 1970 U.S. population.
For all genders and races, age-specific mortality rates increased with age for the years 1979 through 1997, combined. Men had consistently higher mortality rates than women for all of the five-year age-groups. For all age-groups, up to and including the 70-74 age-group, black men had higher age-specific mortality rates than white men, despite having had lower incidence rates than white men. For ages above 75, white men had higher mortality rates, as well as higher incidence rates, compared to black men. (See Figure 4.) The same pattern was seen for women. (See Figure 24 and Table 51 in Appendix II.)
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