Estimation of future mortality from pleural malignant mesothelioma in Japan based on an age-cohort model

American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Volume 49, Issue 1 , Pages 1 – 7. Published Online: 16 Dec 2005. [Link]

Takehiko Murayama, PhD 1 *, Ken Takahashi, MD 2, Yuji Natori, MD 3, Norio Kurumatani, MD 4

1 Division of Multidisciplinary Studies, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

2 Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan

3 Hirano Kameido Himawari Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

4 Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan

email: Takehiko Murayama ( Correspondence to Takehiko Murayama, 51-05-07A, Waseda University, 3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan.

This work was mainly performed in Waseda University.


Background: Japanese consumption of asbestos increased rapidly after the 1950s and lingered at a high level while the world’s consumption decreased substantially after the 1980s. Mesothelioma is due primarily to asbestos, and the number of deaths in Japan is expected to increase in the future.

Method: We estimated the future number of pleural mesothelioma deaths among males in Japan using an age-cohort model.

Results: Analyses showed that there would be about 100,000 deaths in Japan due to pleural mesothelioma in the next 40 years. Compared with the statistics in European countries, the ratio of expected death numbers to the population size is remarkably close to linear. The data-point for Japan was slightly lower than that which could be expected from the linear relationship.

Conclusions: The limited availability of data may result in underestimation. Taking into consideration the consumption pattern of asbestos in recent decades, the incorporation of later cohorts will improve the estimation.

Keywords: mesothelioma, age-cohort model, future mortality, asbestos, Japan