Mesothelioma is a malignancy with poor prognosis. It is chiefly caused by asbestos exposure and its symptoms can occur about 30–50 yr after the initial exposure. This study aims to predict the future trends in mesothelioma mortality in Japan using a method that is an alternative to the age-cohort model. Our approach is based on a risk function that links mesothelioma mortality combined with data pertaining to the population, size of the labor force, and quantity of asbestos imports. We projected the number of deaths occurring in individuals aged 50–89 for yr 2003–2050 using risk functions. Our results have indicated that mesothelioma mortality among Japanese people aged 50–89 yr will continue to increase until 2027 and reach a maximum of 66,327 deaths in the years 2003–2050. Our estimate has also suggested that the number of mesothelioma deaths could be significantly reduced if there were adequate compliance with the administrative level guidelines for occupational asbestos exposure.
2012 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health