The purpose of the study was to analyse the level and the trends of Potential Years of Life Lost due to the main causes of death in Poland in the years 2002-2011. The material for the study was the information from the Central Statistical Office on the number of deaths due to the main causes of death in Poland in the years 2002-2011. The premature mortality analysis was conducted with the use of the PYLL (Potential Years of Life Lost) indicator. PYLL rate was calculated following the method proposed by J. Romeder, according to which premature mortality was defined as death before the age of 70. Time trends of PYLL rate and the average annual percent change (APC - Annual Percent Change) were assessed using jointpoint models and the Joinpoint Regression Program. In the years 2002-2011, PYLL rate for all-cause deaths decreased by 7.0% among men and 8.1% among women. In 2011, the main reasons for PYLL among men were: external causes (27.6%), cardiovascular diseases (24.2%) and cancers (20.3%). Among women the leading causes were: cancers (41.1%), cardiovascular diseases (19.7%) and external causes (12.5%). PYLL rate increased among men for colorectal cancer, and among women for colorectal and lung cancer. The presented epidemiological situation for premature mortality in Poland shows that in the majority of cases it is caused by preventable deaths, which highlights a need to intensify measures in primary and secondary prevention.

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