Global Mesothelioma Deaths Reported to the World Health Organization between 1994–2008

Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Iseigaoka 1-1, Yahatanishiku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture 807-8555, Japan.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation (Impact Factor: 5.09). 10/2011; 89(10):716-24, 724A-724C. DOI: 10.2471/BLT.11.086678
Source: PubMed


To carry out a descriptive analysis of mesothelioma deaths reported worldwide between 1994 and 2008.
We extracted data on mesothelioma deaths reported to the World Health Organization mortality database since 1994, when the disease was first recorded. We also sought information from other English-language sources. Crude and age-adjusted mortality rates were calculated and mortality trends were assessed from the annual percentage change in the age-adjusted mortality rate.
In total, 92,253 mesothelioma deaths were reported by 83 countries. Crude and age-adjusted mortality rates were 6.2 and 4.9 per million population, respectively. The age-adjusted mortality rate increased by 5.37% per year and consequently more than doubled during the study period. The mean age at death was 70 years and the male-to-female ratio was 3.6:1. The disease distribution by anatomical site was: pleura, 41.3%; peritoneum, 4.5%; pericardium, 0.3%; and unspecified sites, 43.1%. The geographical distribution of deaths was skewed towards high-income countries: the United States of America reported the highest number, while over 50% of all deaths occurred in Europe. In contrast, less than 12% occurred in middle- and low-income countries. The overall trend in the age-adjusted mortality rate was increasing in Europe and Japan but decreasing in the United States.
The number of mesothelioma deaths reported and the number of countries reporting deaths increased during the study period, probably due to better disease recognition and an increase in incidence. The different time trends observed between countries may be an early indication that the disease burden is slowly shifting towards those that have used asbestos more recently.

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    • "We assessed the effect on MPM incidence due to the components of age at diagnosis, birth cohort and time period for both genders in the population of a Northern region of Italy. Previous studies based on World Health Statistics Annual on mortality [2] [21] reported that, in Italy, the overall the trend in MPM mortality would have been similar to what observed in other European countries [17] [36]: the incidence rates were always more pronounced among males, the temporal trends correlated with historical asbestos consumptions, and the increment in incidence was explained in most part by an age-cohort effect with a high risk among oldest age-classes and for cohorts born around the years 1940. Our results suggest that the risk of MPM incidence gradually increased among subjects aged 50 or older, among males being three times higher than among females, and reached a peak at the age 74–79. "
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    • "MM has a prevalence of 1-2 per million per year [8], with 80% of the cases occurring in men [9]. However, the lifetime risk of MM in exposed individuals is 4.5%–10%, which is 40 times higher than that of the average population [10]. Professionals at risk for high levels of exposure include miners, factory and ship workers, carpenters, electricians, boilermakers, insulation manufacturers, and pipe insulators [11]. "
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