HealthDay News — Incident cases of mesothelioma and deaths associated with mesothelioma increased worldwide during 1990 to 2017, according to a study published online August 11 in JAMA Network Open.

Zhen Zhai, MD, from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues examined the global mesothelioma burden and described its epidemiologic distribution over time. The study population included individuals from 195 countries and territories diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1990 and 2017.

The researchers identified 34,615 new cases of mesothelioma and 29,909 deaths associated with mesothelioma in 2017; more than 70% were among men. The number of incident cases was 21,224 in 1990, while the number of deaths associated with mesothelioma was 17,406. Worldwide, there was an increase in incident cases and deaths from 1990 to 2017, and more than 50% of cases were recorded in regions with high sociodemographic index levels; from 1990 to 2017, there were decreases in the age-standardized incidence rate (from 0.52 to 0.44) and in the age-standardized death rate (from 0.44 to 0.38), with estimated annual percentage changes of −0.61 and −0.44, respectively. Over time, the proportion of incident cases among those aged 70 years and older continued to increase, while the proportion among those aged younger than 50 years decreased. After 20 years of a complete ban on asbestos use, mesothelioma incident cases and age-standardized incidence rates began to decrease.

“Banning asbestos was associated with reductions in the increase of mesothelioma incidence and mortality; however, the association between mesothelioma and previous exposure to asbestos remains a concern,” the authors write.


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