Date: 22 May 2012

Distribution and trends in mesothelioma mortality in Italy from 1974 to 2006

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Using the epidemiological data of pleural cancer mortality, the authors estimated time trends and distribution of malignant mesothelioma in Italy during the period 1974–2006.


To describe temporal trends of the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) in all the 20 Italian regions, we applied the Joinpoint Regression Model, developed by the National Cancer Institute (USA). The 107 provincial SMRs are represented on maps by using the Arcview GIS software (version 3.2).


The high values from mesothelioma mortality in construction and shipbuilding sectors, previously reported, are confirmed by our analyses. Furthermore, data show that the annual percentage change is still growing: statistically significant increments in time trends are observed for 11 of 20 Italian regions. Of additional concern has been the identification of changes in 9 of 20 trends partially due to the misdiagnosis in the past.


Given the long latency of mesothelioma, preventive and legal measures with the ban of asbestos in Italy since 1992 are still not giving effects on mesothelioma mortality trends.

An erratum to this article can be found at