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Epidemiology of pleural mesothelioma in North-western Italy (Piedmont)
  1. G. F. Rubino1,
  2. G. Scansetti1,
  3. A. Donna2,
  4. G. Palestro3
  1. 1Institute of Occupational Medicine of the University of Turin
  2. 2Institute of Oncology of the Ospedale Maggiore di San Giovanni Battista e della Citt√° di Torino
  3. 3Institute of Pathological Anatomy of the University of Turin


    Rubino, G. F., Scansetti, G., Donna, A., and Palestro, G. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 436-442. Epidemiology of pleural mesothelioma in North-western Italy (Piedmont). Fifty-four cases of mesothelioma of the pleura admitted to the Chest Surgery Centre or to the Department of Medicine of the University of Turin from 1960 to 1970 are reported. Thoracotomy was performed in 22. In the other 32 the diagnosis was based on the clinical, radiographic, and cytological findings and on the results of biopsy. In 50 cases (18 women and 32 men), the majority of whom had always or mostly lived in Piedmont, it was possible to ascertain the family history, previous residence, and occupation, mainly with the aid of information given by the patient's relatives. A similar investigation was made by the same interviewers into 50 other patients of the same sex and age admitted to the same institutions, using an identical technique. In the group with mesothelioma (only two of whom survived more than two years after the diagnosis had been made) occupational exposure to asbestos was demonstrated unequivocally in five men. Three other patients, including one woman, had lived with persons employed in the asbestos industry (16%). Exposure for occupational reasons seemed very likely in another patient, who had been a fireman in the Turin Arsenal for 40 years. One man in the control group had worked for two years in a cement-asbestos manufacturing company (2%).

    A re-appraisal of the histological sections and examination of new preparations made in the 22 cases operated on was done in the Department of Pathological Anatomy of the University of Turin, also with the purpose of confirming the diagnosis. This re-appraisal revealed the presence of asbestos bodies in the mesothelioma in one case, a woman who had never been exposed to asbestos for occupational or domestic reasons but who had always lived in one of the two regions of the Province of Turin with the highest number of asbestos industries.

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