Incidence, mortality and survival in malignant pleural mesothelioma before and after asbestos in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden

BMC CancerHemminki K, Försti A, Chen T, et al. | November 10, 2021


Analyzing nationwide malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) data for Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE), it was noted that male incidence trends for MPM in these Nordic countries climaxed and began to decline, implying benefits of exposure prevention. Improvement of survival in MPM has been observed for both genders, however, long-term survival remains dismal.

  • The NORDCAN database was utilized: incidence data were collected from 1943 in DK, 1953 in FI and NO and 1958 in SE, through 2016, and survival data from 1967 through 2016.

  • For MPM, the lowest incidence was 0.02/100,000 for NO women and 0.05/100,000 for FI men in 1953–57, marking the incidence prior to the impact of asbestos.

  • DK showed the highest rate of 1.9/100,000 in 1997, and a much lower female incidence was reported than male incidence.

  • Observed regional incidence trends corresponded with earlier asbestos-linked industrial activity, shipbuilding in FI and SE, cement manufacturing and shipbuilding in DK and seafaring in NO.

  • Increment in relative 1-year survival from about 20 to 50% was evident but 5-year survival was at or below 10%.

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