Mesothelioma victims getting younger

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization dedicated to serving as the voice of asbestos victims, today announced that an increasing number of patients suffering from asbestos-related diseases are now younger than in previous reports. Case reports from the past three years reveal a new median age of 51 and nearly fifty percent of those are women. Anecdotal evidence suggests a changing profile of newly diagnosed patients, many of whom are under 40 years old, nearly forty percent of which have never worked with asbestos, but have environmental exposure.

The Columbia University Mesothelioma Center in New York City reports similar findings. “The average age of our peritoneal mesothelioma patients is 51.7,” said Dr. Robert N. Taub, Milstein Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Columbia University Mesothelioma Center in New York City. “And less than fifty percent had immediately recognizable asbestos exposure.”

“Asbestos-related diseases, like many occupationally and environmentally induced diseases, are routinely underreported. It is imperative for clinicians and health care providers to thoroughly investigate and accurately report the diagnosis of disease, as well as record, not only the immediate cause of death, but also significant underlying conditions,” said Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret.) and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair. “Only through better reporting will we ever understand the true impact of asbestos-related health conditions or the affect prevention has played in controlling these highly preventative diseases.”

“As workplace exposures come under better control, the percentage of environmental exposures continue to increase,” said Arthur L. Frank, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University School of Public Health, ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair.

“ADAO is being contacted by young fathers and mothers in their late 20s and 30s who are seeking medial resources and support because they have been recently diagnosed with asbestos-caused diseases,” said Linda Reinstein, Executive Director and Cofounder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “Our patient profile program will continue as asbestos exposure and deaths continue to claim more lives. Prevention is the only cure for asbestos diseases.”

The 1990 patient profile no longer represents the patient of today. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported in 1986 that the median age was nearly 70 and approximately fifty percent had occupational exposure. Other studies estimated that eighty percent of patients were men. In 1999, more than one-third of mesothelioma deaths occurred in just five states (California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio).

The occurrence of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, is growing out of control. Studies estimate that during the next decade, 100,000 victims in the United States will die of an asbestos related disease – equaling 30 deaths per day.

About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims a united voice to help ensure that their rights are fairly represented and protected, and raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is funded through voluntary contributions and staffed by volunteers. For more information visit


Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
Doug Larkin
Director of Communications
703-250-3590 x1245
Cell: 202-391-1546

Source: Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization


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