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Epidemiological Surveillance Of Mesothelioma Mortality In Italy.

L. Fazzo, G. Minelli, M. De Santis, C. Bruno, A. Zona, S. Conti, P. Comba
Published 2018 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is causally linked to asbestos exposure with an estimated etiological fraction of 80% or more. METHODS Standardized rates of all mesothelioma (C45, ICD-10) and malignant pleural mesothelioma (C45.0, ICD-10) mortality in Italy were computed at national and regional levels, for the period 2003-2014. Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs, with 95% Confidence Intervals) were calculated for each of the 8047 Italian municipalities, for both diseases, with respect to Regional figures. A geographical clustering analysis at municipal level was performed, applying SatScan methods. RESULTS In Italy, 16,086 persons (about 1,340/year) died for MM, in analysed period. National Standardized rates of MM mortality are 3.65/100,000 in men and 1.09/100,000 in women, with an increasing annual trend, among male population. The highest rates were found in men from Northern Regions. Significant clusters (p < 0.10) were found corresponding to areas that hosted major asbestos-cement plants, naval shipyards, petrochemical plants and refineries. Furthermore, excesses were found corresponding to chemical and textile industries; the latter involving, particularly, female population. Excesses were found also in areas near the chrysotile mine of Balangero, and in Biancavilla, a town with a stone quarry contaminated by fluoro-edenitic fibres; an excess of MM mortality was observed among male population living in a minor island where a Navy shipyard is located. CONCLUSIONS Mortality for mesothelioma in Italy is still increasing, twenty-six years after the asbestos ban. Epidemiological surveillance of mesothelioma mortality allows to detect the temporal trend of the disease and highlights previously unknown or underestimated sources of asbestos exposure.
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