Age-group-specific trend analyses of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma incidence from 1989 to 2018 and risk factors profile by age-group in 2015-2018: a population-based study in The Netherlands

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Incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is increasing globally and the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to this increase. This study aimed to present a comprehensive overview of OPSCC trends in incidence rates by age group and investigate differences in risk factors profile. Netherlands Cancer Registry data from 1989-2018 were analyzed to calculate the annual percentage change (APC) over European standardized incidence rates by gender and age group using joinpoint regression software. Smoking, alcohol drinking and HPV-status were available for 2015-2018. During 1989-2018, 13 048 cases of OPSCC were reported with a male-to-female ratio of 2.1:1. The overall incidence rate increased by 5.4% (APC) annually from 1989 to 1996 but slowed thereafter by 1.2%. Significant declines were found in patients of 35-44 years (APCs -3.7%). Adults aged 45-59 years displayed significant increases from 1989 to 2001, followed by a significant decline. In patients ≥60 years, the incidence rates increased overall, with APC for women being consistently higher than men. The data on HPV status was available for 69% of the patients, of whom 47% were HPV+. Smoking and alcohol consumption were more prevalent, that is 75 and 76 % respectively. The declining trends of OPSCC for Dutch people aged 35-44 years from 1989 to 2018 and for those aged 45-59 years from 2002 onwards are inconsistent to trends reported elsewhere in the developed countries. The prevalence of smoking and drinking alcohol was quite high in all age groups, whereas the proportion of HPV-positivity was relatively low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • European standardized incidence rate
  • alcohol consumption
  • annual percentage change
  • human-papillomavirus status
  • oropharynx
  • population-based
  • smoking
  • squamous cell carcinoma

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