Local mesothelioma rates outstrip world average

September 08, 2014 at 12:21 PM

New notifications to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry reached 575 last year, with the asbestos-related illness affecting 465 men and 110 women, according to the registry’s third annual report.

Australia’s incidence rate was 2.2 per 100,000 person-years, compared with the global average of 1.2. The rate for Victoria and NSW was 1.8, but in WA it was 3.9.

Age at diagnosis ranged from 27-96, but most people were aged 70-84.

Men were more likely to be diagnosed in their 70s, while the incidence for women was more evenly spread across age groups.

The registry began collating new cases from July 2010. It says a drop in notifications since 2007 may be due to limitations with data collection, rather than a real decline in incidence.

About 60% of people who participated in research had possible or probable exposure through work, the report says.

The highest incidence was for tradespeople, particularly those in construction and the metal and mechanical trades.

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