Asbestos can be found in countless residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in the United States. Despite its obvious health risks, companies have knowingly exposed their workers to the mineral for decades. You may be wondering how common mesothelioma is — how many cases are diagnosed each year.
Incidence of Mesothelioma in the U.S.
By studying mesothelioma cancer trends, researchers have been able to identify patterns in the disease and assess its risk levels. Compared with most cancers, mesothelioma is rare. There are approximately 3,000 new mesothelioma cases every year in the United States. The incidence rate among Americans peaked in 1992 with a rate of 1.49 new cases per 100,000 people.
Mesothelioma Prevalence by Gender
Though the disparity is less pronounced than it once was, mesothelioma has historically disproportionately affected men. Today, an estimated 75% to 80% of cases diagnosed are men. In 1992, 2.49 out of every 100,000 men were diagnosed with the disease. The highest incidence rate among women took place in 1983, with 0.49 cases per 100,000 people.
Mesothelioma Rates by Age Group
Because mesothelioma is known for its long latency period, the average age of mesothelioma patients tends to be quite high. Patients between 80 and 89 years old are most likely to be affected by the disease. Among patients aged 80 to 84, the incidence rate is 8.9 new cases per 100,000 people. Among patients aged 85 to 89, it’s 8.5 new cases per 100,000 people.
Mesothelioma Prevalence by Disease Type
There are four distinct types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. They affect the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testes, respectively. Of the four types, pleural mesothelioma has the highest incidence rate with more than three new cases per 100,000 people.