Approximately 3300 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year according to a report published in 2008. Data as to incidence vary considerably, but the annual incidence of mesothelioma in the adult male population of the United States is estimated to be 7 to 13 per million. Mesothelioma is 5 times more common in men than in women. It is often diagnosed at 60 to 70 years of age but the disease can appear in either men or women at any age. Two thousand Americans die each year as a result of mesothelioma.
The incidence of mesothelioma in the United States peaked at 15 per million around the year 2000. The disease is now on the decline, secondary to control of exposure to asbestos which is the major risk factor for the disease. In contrast, mesothelioma cases are predicted to increase dramatically in the developing nations owing to poor regulation of asbestos mining and increase in industrial and household utilization of asbestos.