Mesothelioma cases have been decreasing around the world over the past 30 years, finds researchers from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
The Changing Landscape of Mesothelioma
Their goal was to look at how the burden of mesothelioma has changed over time and make predictions about future trends.
There are different types of mesotheliomas depending on where in the body it develops. Mesothelioma that grows in the lining of the lungs is called pleural mesothelioma. When it grows in the lining of the abdominal cavity, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Mesothelioma has also been found around the heart and in the testis.
When a person is exposed to asbestos, it can take decades for symptoms to start showing. The exact symptoms depend on the type of mesothelioma. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, and coughing.
Global Study Reveals Declining Cases Over the Past 30 Years
For this study, the researchers used data from the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) database. This database includes information on mesothelioma cases, deaths, survival from 1990 to 2019.
The researchers found that fewer people are being diagnosed with mesothelioma and fewer people are dying from it. However, the trends varied across different regions and countries. The Mesothelioma burden dropped by a large amount in high-income countries. While it increased in low-income countries.
A key factor in the number of mesothelioma cases in a county is whether asbestos has been banned or if it is still allowed to be used in materials. Countries with an asbestos ban have seen a decline in mesothelioma cases. While countries that allow asbestos are experiencing an increase in cases.
Based on the data and the researchers’ analysis, they expect the burden of mesothelioma worldwide to keep going down in the future. They recommend that countries keep track of mesothelioma cases in a national tracking database.
Zhu W, Liu J, Li Y, Shi Z, Wei S. Global, regional, and national trends in mesothelioma burden from 1990 to 2019 and the predications for the next two decades. SSM Pop Health. 2023;23:101441. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2023.101441. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827323001064#sec4