[Malignant mesothelioma in Basse-Normandie, a French population study. Descriptive analysis, prognostic factors and survival].Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2001 Dec; 49(6):523-9.RE
Malignant mesothelioma is a pleural and/or peritoneal tumor closely related to asbestos exposure, and its incidence should continue to increase during the first two decades of the 21(rst)century. The main prognostic factors described for this tumor are older age, sex, tumor stage and histological type. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of pleural and peritoneal malignant mesothelioma in the County of Basse-Normandie (France), as well as their epidemiological characteristics, and the prognostic factors related to survival duration.
Cases were identified through repeated inquiries among all chest physicians and pathologists of the County of Basse-Normandie. A special care was taken in the validation of the diagnosis of each case. Incidence of mesothelioma was determined according to sex and age (5 years categories). Qualitative and quantitative variables were compared with the use of chi-square or Student's t tests respectively. Survival rate was calculated by Kaplan-Meier method, and prognostic factors were studied by means of Cox model.
Study population consisted in all 80 malignant mesothelioma cases diagnosed in Basse-Normandie between the 1(rst) of September 1995 and the 31(rst) of August 1999. Annual incidence rates of pleural mesothelioma were 1.1/100 000 in men and 0.23/100 000 in women; annual incidence rates for peritoneal mesothelioma were 0.21/100 000 in men and 0.13/100 000 in women. Asbestos exposure was present in 63 cases (78.8%). The study of geographic distribution of mesothelioma cases revealed the influence of the main asbestos industrial settings, as well as the numerous scattered cases related to other occupational exposure. Mean survival duration was 9 months for pleural mesothelioma and 5 months for peritoneal mesothelioma. After adjustment on age, death risk was higher in asbestos-exposed than in non asbestos-exposed cases.
This study confirms that malignant mesothelioma is closely related to asbestos exposure, but not only in main asbestos industrial settings. It suggests that asbestos exposure may take place among prognostic factors of this tumor.