Croatia second in cancer mortality in the EU: Smoking, obesity and air pollution are the biggest risk factors

Photo Bjanka Kadic / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

In 2019, 311 cancer deaths per 100.000 inhabitants were registered in Croatia, 25 percent more than the EU average. It is worse only in neighboring Hungary, Hina said.

The most common causes of cancer death among men in 2019 were lung cancer, including trachea (2.013 deaths), colon (1.264) and prostate (809). Among women, the most common causes were lung cancer (870 deaths), colon cancer (839) and breast cancer (757).

The estimated incidence of cancer in Croatia is roughly equal to the EU average, but Croatians participate much less than the Union average in early detection programs for breast, cervical and colon cancer. Residents in rural areas and those with lower levels of education and income are less likely to respond, the OECD said.

The report also states that Croatia has a higher rate of overweight people than any other EU member state and is at the top in terms of the percentage of smokers.

Smoking, overweight and obesity and air pollution are higher risk factors for cancer in Croatia than in other EU member states.

"The quality of cancer treatment in Croatia is lower than in other EU member states. IHME estimates that in 2019, 282.113 years of life were lost to cancer, or 6.641 per 100.000 inhabitants, 15 percent more than the EU average of 5.717 in the same year.

At the same time, total cancer treatment costs are 11 percent higher than the bloc's average.

The report warns that "shortages of health workers and medical equipment limit access to cancer treatment" in Croatia.

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