Objectives: This study analyzed the incidence rates of malignant mesothelioma in Denmark in order to predict the future number of cases that will occur among Danish men.
Methods: The 1912 cases of malignant mesothelioma reported to the Danish Cancer registry in 1943-1993 were analyzed in order to describe current incidence rates. By a Poisson regression model the relative risks of synthetic birth cohorts were estimated and used in the prediction of the future number of cases that will occur among Danish men.
Results: The incidence rate increased to 1.33 per 100000 person-years in 1983-1987 among men and to 0.51 in 1973-1977 among women. From the Poisson regression model, the risk for birth cohorts of men, relative to the 1940-1944 cohort, peaked in the 1940-1944 cohort and decreased to 0.57 in the 1950-1954 cohort. The age-specific incidence rate peaked at 246 per 100000 person-years in the age group 80-84 years. The future annual number of mesothelioma cases is expected to peak around 2015 with 93 cases among men born before 1955.
Conclusions: The fit of the models was not ideal, but with careful interpretation of the results, it was concluded that a further increase in the number of mesothelioma cases can be expected, and the effect of regulating the environmental exposure to asbestos cannot be expected within the next 10-15 years.