The cities where the most cancer deaths are recorded in Italy

On 21 May 2024, Istat published an updated report on health conditions and healthcare provision in our country, providing a detailed analysis also on hospitalization and mortality rates in Italy for some serious diseases, including tumors.

The data collected by the ISTAT report concerns both hospitalizations and cancer mortality, and offer essential elements for an integrated assessment of the impact of these chronic pathologies on the health of the population and on the hospital system. In fact, the study focuses on the population of age 0-74 yearsa key group for assessing avoidable mortality.

Let's see, in detail, what the data says.

The cities in Italy with the highest rates of hospitalization for cancer

During the years, hospitalization for cancer in Italy has undergone a significant reduction. Hospital discharges for cancer went from 15.5 per 1,000 people in the three-year period 2007-2009 to 10.8 per 1,000 in 2017-2019. In 2020, there was a further reduction, likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a slight increase in 2021, with 9.8 discharges per 1,000 residents.

From what emerged, Naples, Cagliari and Genoa have the highest cancer-related discharge rate, approximately 11 per 1,000 residents, a result attributable to the hospitalization of residents in the capitals and satellite territories. The general analysis shows the greater use of hospitalization by inhabitants residing in the capital municipalities (10.3 per 1,000) compared to sub-urban territories (9.9 per 1,000 in the first belt and 9.7 in the second), with some pole municipalities which is close to 12 resignations every 1,000 (Genoa, Naples, Messina, Catania and Cagliari).

In Milan and Turin instead the resignation rate is lower (both capitals under nine resignations per 1,000 inhabitants).

Resignation due to cancer they also vary based on gender: for the metropolitan cities as a whole the hospitalization rates stand at 10.9 women per 1,000 and 9.1 men per 1,000 (at a national level 8.9 men and 10.7 women per 1,000 inhabitants). In 2021 and in the three-year period 2017-2019 the masculinity relationship it is less than 100 in the capitals and in the first and second level urban belts, indicating a systematic prevalence of female resignations. In contrast, given the prevalence of male hospitalizations, the municipalities of the first belt of Messina (102.0) and those of the second belt of Reggio Calabria (113.0), in 2021.

The cities with the highest cancer mortality rate

The most critical values ​​relating to the cancer mortality rate in Italy are found in the metropolitan city of Naples (14.7 deaths per 10 thousand inhabitants in 2021) followed by those of Catania and Palermo (almost 13 deaths per 10 thousand).

Lower mortality levels instead characterize the metropolitan cities of Bologna and Florence with almost 11 deaths per 10 thousand inhabitants in 2021 (over 8% less than the 2017-2019 average).

THE capitals present a cancer mortality profile similar to the metropolitan area to which they belong, with the municipality of Naples (15.5 deaths per 10 thousand people) at the top of the ranking, followed by Catania (15 deaths per 10 thousand people), the only city where mortality increases in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic three-year period (+7.9%), confirming the dynamics also observed in 2020 (+15% compared to 2017-2019).

The analysis by gender confirms what Istat defines as the phenomenon of “supermortality of men” for tumor pathologies by the age of 74, showing lower female mortality levels to male ones for the entire period.

In particular, in 2021 in Italy they are observed 13.7 deaths per 10 thousand malesalmost four deaths per 10 thousand more than among women.

In metropolitan cities, in 2021, the report confirms a difference of 135 male deaths for every 100 female deathswith highest values ​​in the metropolitan city of Cagliari (171) and in the municipality of Catania. Even in the municipalities of Reggio Calabria and Messinain the three-year period 2017-2019, the indicator is particularly unfavorable for men (173 and 162 respectively), only partially rebalanced in 2021.

Good news, the number of cancer deaths in Italy is decreasing

Although cancer mortality represents a significant component of mortality in the 0-74 age group, being the first cause of death in adults and second in the elderly, the good news is that, from an evolutionary point of view, deaths resulting from a tumor pathology in the population under 75 years of age have decreased progressively reduced in recent yearsincluding the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The generalized reduction in mortality from this pathology has affected the metropolitan cities of the North and Center to a greater extent. In particular, in 2021, significant decreases were observed compared to the three-year period 2017-2019 in the metropolitan cities of Venice, Turin and Rome, with variations between -13.1% in Venice and -9.1% in Rome. Among the metropolitan territories of the South, Cagliari shows a decrease in cancer mortality of 9.6%, largely attributable to the significant decrease in female mortality (-16.4% compared to the three-year period 2017-2019 compared to an average decrease of -3.7%)

In 2021, cancer deaths in Italy are around 71 thousand, 1,000 less than 2020 and 3 thousand less compared to the three-year period 2017-2019. The standardized mortality rate therefore stands at 11.7 deaths per 10 thousand inhabitants, -7.1% compared to the pre-pandemic three-year period and -22% compared to 2007-2009.

In metropolitan cities, cancer mortality for 0-74 year olds presents levels and dynamics similar to national ones with 12.1 deaths per 10 thousand inhabitants in 2021, a figure slightly lower than that recorded in 2020 (12.5 deaths per 10 thousand). Even in this case, however, it is confirmed in particular the constant decrease in mortality which manifests itself with a decrease of 6.9% compared to the 2017-2019 period and 20.9% compared to 2007-2009.

Respiratory system diseases are on the rise

An interesting fact that emerged from the Istat report, which deserves to be mentioned, is that relating to deaths attributable to respiratory system diseases, which now represent a public health challenge, since more and more on the rise but reducible through the promotion of virtuous individual behaviour, the improvement of environmental conditions, aimed at reducing exposure to air pollutants, and the adoption of other specific prevention strategies and mechanisms.

Over the years, the standardized deaths from respiratory system diseases referring to the population under 75 years of age are grew by 9.1% at the Italian levelgoing from 1.1 deaths per 10 thousand people in the three-year period 2007-2009 to 1.2 in 2017-2019.

In the territories the phenomenon presents itself differently, recording smaller decreases in the capital municipalities (-7.1%). In detail, in 2021, the metropolitan city of Naples has the most critical value with 1.9 deaths per 10 thousand residentswith Messina (1.7 deaths per 10 thousand residents), Reggio Calabria and Palermo (1.6 deaths per 10 thousand

While still in the metropolitan city of Bologna confirms the lowest values (0.8 deaths per 10 thousand).

Even among capitals the greatest criticality for mortality due to respiratory system diseases can be found in some large municipalities in the South, first of all Naples which reaches 2.3 deaths per 10 thousand inhabitants, followed by the municipalities of Messina and Palermo.