BACKGROUND: Higher mesothelioma rates in men (vs women) reflect more frequent and more intense asbestos exposure. We assessed the impact of exposure difference between genders on age-specific rates of pleural mesothelioma (PM) occurrence using data from two Italian regions.
METHODS: We used data from the Lombardy and Piedmont mesothelioma registries (period 2000-2016, age 45-74 years) to compare rates of PM in men and women and to estimate the rate advancement period (RAP).
RESULTS: Based on 3384 cases (2405 men, 979 women) in Lombardy and 2042 (1389 men, 653 women) in Piedmont, the rate ratio was 2.81 (90% confidence interval: 2.61-3.03) in Lombardy and 2.39 (2.17-2.62) in Piedmont. In both regions RAP ranged from 7 to 10 years (at age 45 and 63 in men, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Men showed more than twofold increased PM rates and reached the same incidence as women 7-10 years earlier. RAP can be a useful measure of exposure impact on premature disease occurrence.