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Burden Of Mesothelioma Deaths By National Income Category: Current Status And Future Implications

Odgerel Chimed-Ochir, Diana Arachi, Tim Driscoll, Ro-Ting Lin, Jukka Takala, Ken Takahashi

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Background: This study compares estimates of the global-level mesothelioma burden with a focus on how existing national mortality data were utilized and further assesses the interrelationship of country-level mesothelioma burden and asbestos use with national income status. Methods: Country-level mesothelioma deaths in the WHO Mortality Database as of December 2019 were analyzed by national income category of countries in terms of data availability and reliability. Numbers of mesothelioma deaths from the study of Odgerel et al. were reanalyzed to assess country-level mesothelioma death burdens by national income status. Results: Among 80 high-income countries, 54 (68%) reported mesothelioma to the WHO and 26 (32%) did not, and among 60 upper middle-income countries, the respective numbers (proportions) were 39 (65%) countries and 21 (35%) countries, respectively. In contrast, among 78 low- and lower middle-income countries, only 11 (14%) reported mesothelioma deaths while 67 (86%) did not. Of the mesothelioma deaths, 29,854 (78%) were attributed to high- and upper middle-income countries, and 8534 (22%) were attributed to low- and lower middle- income countries. Conclusions: The global mesothelioma burden, based on reported numbers, is currently shouldered predominantly by high-income countries; however, mesothelioma burdens will likely manifest soon in upper middle-income and eventually in low and lower middle-income countries.