United Kingdom and Mesothelioma

Deaths due to mesothelioma continue to increase in the United Kingdom. Doctors keep discovering more and more cases of the disease in both men and women throughout Wales, Scotland, and England. The British government keeps tabs on mesothelioma related deaths.

British Mesothelioma Statistics

Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is the government branch that monitors mesothelioma cases, reports a great increase in mesothelioma during the past 40 years. The HSE also indicates that mesothelioma cases had inclined more than 100-fold in the past 3 and a half decades. There were 153 cases of mesothelioma reported in 1968, but the number of cases increased to 1,848 in 2001. These numbers continued to rise with 2,056 cases in 2006.

The HSE reports that those afflicted with mesothelioma are mostly males, which is due to the fact that large numbers of men worked in shipyards in Great Britain that exposed them to asbestos. Around 85 percent of mesothelioma cases are among men. Male-dominated professions such as construction, carpentry, plumbing, heating and cooling engineers, and electricians put men at a higher risk of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma cases among females have actually decreased over the past 30 years.

In the United Kingdom, cases of mesothelioma have always been highest among men who are age 65 and older. Over the last 15 years, incidence of mesothelioma among men age 55 and up has increased, while incidence among younger men below age 54 has decreased. Incidence of mesothelioma among females has gradually inclined since the 1970s among women who are ages 45 and over. Most of these cases reported have been due to secondary exposure, which may be from a husband, father, or other male relative that worked in an environment with asbestos and carried the dust into the home, contaminating the family. However, some of these women with mesothelioma were in direct contact with asbestos.

Dangerous Locations

The HSE has a list of places across the United Kingdom that are the most affected by mesothelioma. Most of these sites on the list were places substantially involved in ship building. The ten most affected areas in the UK are Glasgow City, Plymouth, North Tyneside, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Medway, Southampton, South Tyneside, and West Dunbartonshire.