Korea has lower incidences of malignant mesothelioma than other developed countries; Research

Korea has lower incidences of mesotheliomaResearchers have found that the incidences of malignant mesothelioma in Korea are lower than that of the other developed countries.

This research has been published online in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer affecting the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It is usually caused by the long term exposure of the body to the asbestos.

Researchers in this study worked on the malignant mesothelioma surveillance system established by The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency in 2001, which also organized a nationwide cardiopulmonary pathology group. “Age, gender, location, occupational history, asbestos exposure environment, date of diagnosis, diagnostic method, histopathologic subtype, occurrence site, and other clinical information” were reported in the surveillance system. Not only this, but an epidemiological survey was also conducted with a “structured verbal questionnaire” to check for any other chances of asbestos exposure.

Researchers found that 399 cases of malignant mesothelioma were reported in the last decade. They found that the average annual incidence rate was of 0.83 cases per million that is lower than the other developed countries.

Researchers have concluded,

Surveillance data indicate that malignant mesothelioma incidence in Korea is, thus far, lower than that of other developed countries, and that construction and environmental asbestos exposure were the main identifiable causes of malignant mesothelioma.


Soon-Hee Jung MD, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim MD, PhD, Sang-Baek Koh MD, PhD, Suk-Joong Yong MD, Myoung Ja Chung MD, Chang-Hun Lee MD, Joungho Han MD, Min-Seob Eom MD, Sung-Soo Oh MD, (2012). A decade of malignant mesothelioma surveillance in Korea. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, DOI: 10.1002/ajim.22065


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