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We thank Bofetta et al 1 for giving us the opportunity to clarify the design of our case–control study on pleural mesothelioma (PM),2 which has been yet described and discussed in more details elsewhere.3 4
We assembled the cases (n=496) from a French hospital-based case–control study conducted in 1987–1993 in five French regions (see Iwatsubo et al 5) composed of 24 departments (over the 96 departments in metropolitan France) and incident cases (n=700) identified within the French National Mesothelioma Surveillance Programme (NMSP) in 1998–2006. The NMSP, which is coordinated by the French National Public Health Agency, has been established partly to estimate the national incidence of mesothelioma in France and thus included departments that were chosen and shown to be representative of France in terms of demographic, employment and economic activity characteristics as detailed in Goldberg et al.6 In 2006, the NMSP included 25 departments including 18 that were different from the 1987–1993 case–control study. Overall, the 1196 cases of our study were recruited in 42 different departments that were well …
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