A recent article explains that mesotheliomas in South Korea are projected to increase over the years ahead, mainly because of demographics, according to these authors. The article is  “Estimated future incidence of malignant mesothelioma in South Korea: Projection from 2014 to 2033.”

The abstract explains:

“Malignant mesothelioma is a malignant tumor on the pleura or the peritoneum caused mostly by asbestos. Although asbestos is not currently used in South Korea, the incidence of mesothelioma is increasing due to its long latent period. This study predicted the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in South Korea over the next 20 years using an age-period-cohort (APC) model. Data regarding mesothelioma incidence from 1994-2013 were acquired from the Korea Central Cancer Registry (KCCR). Demographic data, including prospective resident data, were acquired from the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) for 1994-2033.

An APC model with Møller’s power-link function was utilized to predict the incidence of mesothelioma. It was predicted that 2,380 and 1,199 new cases of mesothelioma in men and women, respectively, would occur over the next 20 years. For both sexes, the mesothelioma incidence rate was predicted to be greater in 2029-2033 compared to that in 2009-2013 (men, 0.282 vs 0.563; women, 0.155 vs 0.217). For men, the age-standardized incidence rate was predicted to be slightly greater in 2029-2033 relative to the rate in 2009-2013 (0.228 vs 0.235), while the age-standardized incidence rate in women decreased within the same timeframe (0.113 vs 0.109).

The changes in mesothelioma incidence were mostly caused by changes in the population structure due to aging and not by changes in the mesothelioma risk ratio. The results of this study project a continuous increase in mesothelioma incidence in South Korea over the next 20 years. Although the projected increase in mesothelioma incidence was not related to an increase in the mesothelioma risk ratio, continuous preventive efforts are necessary to reduce the exposure to asbestos and prevent the trend from worsening.”

The article is online and open access:  Kwak KM, Paek D, Hwang SS, Ju YS. Estimated future incidence of malignant
mesothelioma in South Korea: Projection from 2014 to 2033. PLoS One. 2017 Aug
17;12(8):e0183404. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183404.