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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 678598, 10 pages
Research Article

Increased Standardised Incidence Ratio of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Taiwanese Asbestos Workers: A 29-Year Retrospective Cohort Study

1Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
2Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Miaoli County 35053, Taiwan
3Departments of Internal Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan 70403, Taiwan
4Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10002, Taiwan
5Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10020, Taiwan

Received 12 July 2014; Accepted 19 October 2014

Academic Editor: Shih-Bin Su

Copyright © 2015 Cheng-Kuan Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. This paper aimed to determine the standardised incidence ratio (SIR) of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in workers exposed to asbestos in Taiwan. Methods. All workers employed in asbestos-related factories and registered by the Bureau of Labour Insurance between 1 March, 1950, and 31 December, 1989, were included in the study and were followed from 1 January, 1980, through 31 December, 2009. Incident cases of all cancers, including MPM (ICD-9 code: 163), were obtained from the Taiwan Cancer Registry. SIRs were calculated based on comparison with the incidence rate of the general population of Taiwan and adjusted for age, calendar period, sex, and duration of employment. Results. The highest SIR of MPM was found for male workers first employed before 1979, with a time since first employment more than 30 years (SIR 4.52, 95% CI: 2.25–8.09). After consideration of duration of employment, the SIR for male MPM was 5.78 (95% CI: 1.19–16.89) for the workers employed for more than 20 years in asbestos-related factories. Conclusions. This study corroborates the association between occupational asbestos exposure and MPM. The highest risk of MPM was found among male asbestos workers employed before 1979 and working for more than 20 years in asbestos-related factories.