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Summary

Objective:  To present summary statistics of the Greek mesothelioma epidemic including summaries by occupation and geographical area.

Methods:  The National Statistics Service provides our data, which contain all deaths from 1983 to 2003 where mesothelioma was mentioned on the death certificate.

Results:  The annual number of mesothelioma deaths has increased from 9 in the 3-year period of time 1983–1985 to 53 in 2001–2003. Current deaths in males account for about 72% of the cases. The area of Epirus in Greece has the highest cause-specific mortality rate over the period 1983–2003. The occupational group which is related to the higher number of mesothelioma deaths was clerks and those occupied in business; following farmers, workers-technicians and drivers.

Conclusion:  Our data suggest a change in the balance of risk away from traditional asbestos exposure industries to industries where one could describe the exposure as secondary such as plumbers, technicians, drivers, farmers. Also, we found out that the higher cause-specific mortality rate was 0.38/100,000 population in Epirus, the lower was 0.025/100,000 in Thessalia and the national average rate was 0.10/100,000 population.