Deaths from mesothelioma continue to increase around the UK as asbestosis symptoms appear and confirmed diagnosis discovers more cases in both men and women.

A mesothelioma register, established by the Government in 1967, keeps track of mesothelioma deaths. By this  time, lack of asbestos awareness could no longer be denied as it became overwhelmingly apparent from the many numbers working with  asbestos, many serious health-related problems were appearing.

Despite assertions to the contrary from some quarters, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported a substantial increase in mesothelioma and asbestosis over the past 40 years and consequently, claims for mesothelioma compensation. Figures released by the HSE over a period of several years clearly indicate that cases of mesothelioma had increased more than 100-fold in three-and-a-half decades, with 153 cases reported in 1968 and 1,848 in 2001. More recently, figures have continued to rise, with 2,056 cases of the disease reported in 2006.

The HSE forecasts that the annual total number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain will peak between current levels and 2,450 deaths sometime before the year 2015.

Men Versus Women
The HSE findings also show that a large number of men who worked in UK shipyards develop mesothelioma. About 85 percent of the cases reported each year are among men. In 2006 alone, 1,740 men died of mesothelioma. Other high-risk, male-dominated professions include those related to construction, such as carpenters and joiners, plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers, electricians, and electrical fitters. Asbestos advice is still recommended for those working, or have a long history of working, in these industries.

The incidence of mesothelioma among females has actually fallen in the last 30 years. In the 1970s, the HSE reported that women accounted for about 20 percent of all cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year. In the early 1990s, the percentage was approximately 13 percent, which has remained consistent since that time. In 2006, women represented 14 percent of mesothelioma deaths reported that year.

Cases of mesothelioma in the UK have always been highest among men who are age 65 and over. During the last 15 years, incidence among men who are age 55 and up has increased while incidence among younger individuals (0-54) has decreased.

Among females with mesothelioma, incidence has increased gradually since the early ’70s among women age 45 and older. Many of these cases have been due to secondary exposure. The women may have been married to an asbestos worker or grew up with a father, grandfather, or other male relative who worked with asbestos and carried the dust into the home, which contaminated family members. Some women, however, did indeed work directly with asbestos.