The WHO data illustrates that mesothelioma continues to plague us and that the U.S. should put a total asbestos ban in effect as other countries have already done.
(PRWEB) December 01, 2011
Surviving Mesothelioma reports that the incidence of mesothelioma and the number of countries whose citizens are dying of this disease are both on the rise.
A recent World Health Organization (WHO) bulletin reports that more than 92,000 people in 83 countries died of mesothelioma between 1994 and 2008. The WHO has been compiling mortality statistics on the asbestos-linked cancer since 1994 when mesothelioma was first recorded. According to the newly-released WHO bulletin, crude and age-adjusted mortality rates from mesothelioma were 6.2 and 4.9 per million people, respectively.
Because of the long latency between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development, most mesothelioma patients are over 65. The WHO figures show the age-adjusted mesothelioma mortality rate increased by 5.37% per year, more than doubling during the study period. The mean age at death of mesothelioma patients was 70 years. “The WHO data illustrates that mesothelioma continues to plague us and that the U.S. should put a total asbestos ban in effect as other countries have already done," stated Michael Horwin, spokesman for Surviving Mesothelioma.
Higher income countries reported a higher incidence of mesothelioma, with the U.S. at the top of the list. Over 50% of all deaths from mesothelioma occurred in Europe. In contrast, less than 12% of mesothelioma cases occurred in middle- and low-income countries. The report shows that “the overall trend in the age-adjusted mortality rate was increasing in Europe and Japan but decreasing in the U.S.”
Pleural mesothelioma, affects the membrane around the lungs and remains by far the most common type of mesothelioma. Forty-one percent of mesothelioma cases occurred in the pleura, 4.5% occurred in the peritoneum and .3% occurred in the pericardium, which encases the heart. Worldwide, 43.1% of mesothelioma cases were unspecified as to type.
Both the number of mesothelioma deaths reported and the number of countries reporting deaths increased during the study period. The WHO blames the increase not only an increased incidence of the disease but also improvements in mesothelioma recognition, which often causes symptoms, such as shortness of breath, that mimic lung diseases. The changing rates of mesothelioma over time appear to indicate that occurrence of the disease is shifting toward those who have been exposed to asbestos more recently.
Surviving Mesothelioma is the premier patient-focused website for information about mesothelioma, asbestos, treatment news, and clinical resources. For more information, please visit http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com.