Malignant mesothelioma is a tragic terminal disease that robs its victims of their golden years. The rare form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos and manifests symptoms decades after this exposure takes place. While most United States mesothelioma victims are exposed to the carcinogenic material in the workplace, in Turkey there is so much naturally occurring asbestos that it drives the per capita rate of the disease much higher. Researchers in Turkey recently devised a method of calculating the costs of the disease in their country. The results are startling.
Report Details Loss of Productivity as Cost of Mesothelioma
In the United States, mesothelioma is largely known as an occupational disease and most Americans’ familiarity with the disease comes from headlines generated by large jury verdicts. But the soil found throughout Turkey contains high levels of asbestos, and as a result the death rates from the disease are even higher than in other areas of the world.
In response to its high per capita number of mesothelioma deaths, Turkey researchers generate a significant amount of important information about the disease, how it develops, and its treatment. They also examine the statistical impact on the country’s productivity and recently released a report that calculated the costs of the disease in terms of loss of productivity for the nation.
Mesothelioma Productivity Loss Measured in Years of Life Lost
Publishing their findings in the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, the mesothelioma researchers quantified the number of lives lost to mesothelioma and identified a factor they called “years of life lost,” which subtracted each victim’s age at the time of their death from their life expectancy. They factored out those who died when they were older than 65 and found that of those remaining, the male mesothelioma victims lost on average of 26 productive years and female mesothelioma victims lost an average of 28 productive years.
The researchers then multiplied anticipated annual earnings among those victims by the number of years lost, assigning higher earnings to men then to women, and found the cost to be $45,963 per person. Though that number may seem small to Americans, it is significant to the economy of Turkey. They conclude that, “Malignant mesothelioma is associated with high YLL, YPLL, and economic burden in a country with environmental asbestos exposure in the rural areas.”
There are many different ways of calculating the costs of mesothelioma, but few are more costly than the loss of a future spent with loved ones. For information on how the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.