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Mesothelioma Mortality Rates In Greece For The Period 2005–2015 Is Increased Compared To Previous Decades

Evdoxia Gogou, Chrissi Hatzoglou, Sotirios G. Zarogiannis, Foteini Malli, Rajesh M. Jagirdar, Konstantinos I. Gourgoulianis

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Background and Objective: To present summary statistics regarding malignant mesothelioma (MM) mortality in Greece during the period 2005–2015 and compare it with previous decades, along with gender, age and geographical area analysis. Materials and Methods: The Hellenic Statistical Authority provided the data, which included all deaths for the period 1983 to 2015 that mentioned MM as the death cause in the corresponding death certificate. MM mortality rates have been calculated with respect to gender, age, and geographical location in Greece. Furthermore, a comparison analysis was made among three eleven consecutive year periods, in order to assess potential changes in the mortality rates. Results: The MM mortality rate has significantly increased during the period 2005–2015 both in males and females compared to earlier decades. The maximum number of MM deaths has shifted to an older age group of 70–80 years during the 2005–2015 period as compared to that of 1983–2004 in both genders. Additionally, MM mortality rates have significantly increased in all geographical areas except for the Epirus Prefecture. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate an increased MM mortality rate in Greece for the decade 2005–2015 as compared to the two previous decades. This increase is possibly due to the fact that the peak in asbestos production and use in Greece was in mid 1990s, while the asbestos ban came in effect in 2005. Based on these findings the MM epidemic in Greece has not yet peaked, therefore it is important to implement screening strategies for early MM detection.