Despite decades of knowing the dangers of asbestos, the substance has continued to be used globally. As a result it has exposed countless people to the risk of malignant mesothelioma and other deadly diseases. A study published this week in the journal JAMA Network Open has detailed the extent of the damage being done. Its authors found that between 1990 and 2017 the number of cases of mesothelioma and deaths associated with the deadly asbestos-caused cancer has increased all over the world.
Chinese Researchers Report on Global Mesothelioma Burden
The mesothelioma study was conducted by researchers from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. Zhen Zhai, M.D. and his colleagues compiled data on the disease collected from 195 countries and territories. When they compared the data from 2017, they identified 34,615 new diagnoses and 29,909 deaths from the rare disease. In 1990 the number of cases was 21,224 and there were 17,406 deaths. This worldwide increase is extremely troubling, especially because more than half of the cases reported were in regions with high sociodemographic index levels.
Majority of Mesothelioma Patients Are Over 70
The researchers found that more than 70 percent of those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma were men. They also found that in the 27 years covered by their study, the proportion of cases among those who are 70 and older increased while the number of those who were 50 or younger decreased. The study’s authors interpreted this decrease in the number of younger mesothelioma patients as a reflection of bans on asbestos use in the last twenty years, writing, “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 increased awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the decreased use of the dangerous material has had a positive impact on mesothelioma risk in the United States, but asbestos that has long been in place continues to be a concern, and so too is the impact of asbestos in talc-based products. If you have been diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 for more information.