Number of Mesothelioma Deaths Up Among Women From 1999 to 2020

THURSDAY, May 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — From 1999 to 2020, there was an increase in the annual number of mesothelioma deaths among women, although the age-adjusted death rate decreased, according to research published in the May 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause malignant mesothelioma, Jacek M. Mazurek, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed annual Multiple Cause of Death records from the National Vital Statistics System for 1999 to 2020 to characterize deaths associated with mesothelioma and temporal trends in mesothelioma mortality among women.

The researchers observed a significant increase in the annual number of mesothelioma deaths among women, from 489 in 1999 to 614 in 2020; however, there was a significant decrease in the age-adjusted death rate per 1 million women, from 4.83 to 4.15 in 1999 and 2020, respectively. The largest number of deaths was associated with the health care and social assistance industry and the homemaker occupation (15.7 and 22.8 percent, respectively).

“Increases in total number, but not age-adjusted death rates, suggest that changes in underlying annual age distributions of the population over time are contributing to the observed increases in total mesothelioma deaths in women,” the authors write. “The continuing risk for potential exposure to asbestos fibers underscores the need for ongoing surveillance to monitor temporal trends in malignant mesothelioma mortality.”

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