Japanese consumption of asbestos increased rapidly after the 1950s and lingered at a high level while the world's consumption decreased substantially after the 1980s. Mesothelioma is due primarily to asbestos, and the number of deaths in Japan is expected to increase in the future.
We estimated the future number of pleural mesothelioma deaths among males in Japan using an age-cohort model.
Analyses showed that there would be about 100,000 deaths in Japan due to pleural mesothelioma in the next 40 years. Compared with the statistics in European countries, the ratio of expected death numbers to the population size is remarkably close to linear. The data-point for Japan was slightly lower than that which could be expected from the linear relationship.
The limited availability of data may result in underestimation. Taking into consideration the consumption pattern of asbestos in recent decades, the incorporation of later cohorts will improve the estimation. Am. J. Ind. Med. 49:1–7, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.