Mesothelioma Death Rates Lower for Women
An Australian study revealed that men have more chances than women to develop malignant mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos.
Alison Reid, the leader of the study group said that the people exposed to asbestos at Wittenoom in Western Australia were studied. "This was an asbestos mining and milling town that closed in 1966, but still provides us with a legacy of asbestos-related diseases," she said.
Ms. Reid and her associates, at the University of Western Australia, Crawley, report the findings in the medical journal Chest. They have studied 2000 former residents of Wittenoom.
Deaths due to mesothelioma were found higher with increasing length of residence, and were consistently lower for women than for men. The astonishing revelation of Ms. Reid and her companions is that men have more than four times mesothelioma rate as women as a result of accumulative exposure to asbestos.
The age at the time of first exposure also was analyzed in their studies. It was noted that people who were above or equal to 15 years at the time of first exposure were more likely to die of mesothelioma than those who were less than 15 years.
"The asbestos epidemic is almost past its peak in the developed world, but elsewhere it will just be starting. It is still being used in many developing countries where they have little or no regulation about its use, worker protection, or means of treatment," said Ms Reid.
Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Mainly this is caused by asbestos exposure. Usually only one case is found in 100,000 people. Symptoms of the disease, which can be found in the linings of the lungs and abdomen, may not appear for decades after exposure. But it kills most of its victims within 7-12 months of diagnosis. A cure for mesothelioma is yet to be developed.