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RR728 - Projection of mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain

There has been an increase in mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain, with 1705 deaths recorded in 2006. In 2005, a statistical model was developed based on a simple birth-cohort model, which assumes that the risk of mesothelioma depends on age and years of exposure and that an individual’s asbestos exposure depends on the year of exposure. An optimisation technique was used to fit the model and a profile of the population exposure was estimated. Projections of the future burden of mesothelioma mortality were calculated, however statistical uncertainties in the formulation of the model could not be taken into account. In this report, the model has been refined and refitted using the MATLAB’s fminsearch function and the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm, a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique. Credible intervals for model parameters as well as prediction intervals for future cases of mortality amongst males are presented. Mortality amongst all males is expected to keep increasing, reaching a peak at around 2,040 deaths in the year 2016, with a rapid decline following the peak year. Around 91,000 deaths are predicted to occur by 2050 with around 61,000 of these occurring from 2007 onwards.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-01-27