Mesothelioma incidence projections in South East England

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Mesothelioma incidence projections in South East England


We estimated the past and future age-standardised incidence rates of mesothelioma by birth cohort and by period of diagnosis in South East England.

We extracted data on patients diagnosed with mesothelioma (ICD-10 C45) between 1960 and 2009 from the Thames Cancer Registry. We calculated the age-standardised incidence rates using the European standard population. We used age-cohort and age-period modelling to estimate the age-specific incidence rates for the 1900 to 1950 birth cohorts and the 1935 to 2034 calendar periods.

A much more pronounced increase in mesothelioma incidence between 1972 and 2007 was observed in males than in females. In both sexes, the incidence rates increased in successive generations up to the 1945 birth cohort. Projection of rates in the future showed an increase in incidence in males until 2022 and a decrease thereafter. Among females, the incidence rate was predicted to increase gradually until reaching its maximum around 2027, and to remain stable thereafter.

The occurrence of mesothelioma is closely linked to occupational exposure to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s and due to the long latency period the incidence of mesothelioma is projected to increase until the 2020s.


  1. Wendy King says:

    I am interest to know if you discovered any factors for this cluster of incidents of meso in south east England. My mum died of meso 6 years ago at age 75 but as far as we know had no direct asbestos exposure. She was born and raised in Cranleigh, Surrey, but moved to Canada in 1975. 2 years ago another (in-direct) family member, also from Cranleigh died from the same disease. He was (I think) about 50 and in the plumbing business.
    Was any common reason or exposure found?
    Thank you
    W. King

    • I do not have any additional information about the situation in South East England.

      Did your mother possibly get household secondhand asbestos exposure from her father when she was a child or her spouse later in life or some other family memeber who worked with or around asbestos containing products?

      A person who worked in the plumbing business likely had some asbestos exposure over the years, and not much exposure is needed for mesothelioma to develop — unlike asbestosis, which generally requires five years or more of regular daily work being exposed to asbestos dust.

      I hope this information is helpful.

      Tom Lamb
      Wilmington, NC

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