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Trends and geographical patterns of pleural mesotheliomas in the Netherlands 1970-87.
  1. J M Meijers,
  2. H T Planteydt,
  3. J J Slangen,
  4. G M Swaen,
  5. C van Vliet,
  6. F Sturmans
  1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Toxicology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


    The sex and age related trends and geographical distribution of asbestos related mortality from pleural mesothelioma in the Netherlands between 1970 and 1987 were investigated. Deaths from pleural malignancies recorded by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) were used and death rates were age adjusted per year by the indirect method. Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed for 43 regions over the period 1979-86. For men, total mortality increased from 10.8 per million in the period 1970-8 to 20.9 per million during 1979-87. The highest mortality occurred in the group aged between 65 and 74 with 147.7 per million in 1987. The death rate for the group aged between 55 and 64 was 96.5 per million in 1987. For women, total death rates for pleural mesothelioma showed a moderate increase from 2.5 per million in the period 1970-8 to 3.6 per million during 1979-87. The highest mortality occurred in the group aged over 65, fluctuating around 10-15 per million. For men and women under 45 mortality was very low and presented no upward trend. The geographical distribution over the country for the period 1979-86 showed a pattern with a clear concentration of deaths from mesothelioma in men, in conurbations with many harbours, shipyards, and heavy industry near the river mouths and along the North Sea Coast.

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