Future Incidence of Malignant Mesothelioma in South Korea: Updated Projection to 2038

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun 19;18(12):6614. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18126614.


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a cancer that is largely caused by exposure to asbestos. Although asbestos is no longer used in South Korea, the incidence of MM continues to increase due to its long latent period. We aimed to update the previous prediction of MM incidence until 2038. We predicted the incidence of MM over the next 20 years (2019-2038) in South Korea using Møller's age-period-cohort (APC) model and a Poisson regression model based on asbestos consumption. The APC model predicted that the crude incidence rate would increase sharply in men and slowly in women. Despite the sex discrepancy in the rate of increase, the incidence rate for both sexes is expected to continue increasing until 2038. In the Poisson model, the crude incidence rate was predicted to increase continuously until 2038, and far more cases of MM were predicted to occur compared with the results of the APC model. When compared with actual incidence data, the APC model was deemed more suitable than the Poisson model. The APC model predicted a continuous increase over the next 20 years with no peak, suggesting that the incidence of MM will continue to rise far into the future.

Keywords: NORDPRED; Poisson regression; age-period-cohort model; asbestos; malignant mesothelioma; mesothelioma; prediction model.

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos* / toxicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma* / chemically induced
  • Mesothelioma* / epidemiology
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology


  • Asbestos