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Multiple Myeloma Cases Double Worldwide Since 1990
Posted: Jun 10, 2021
Multiple Myeloma Cases Double Worldwide Since 1990 image

According to Chinese myeloma researchers, the global incidence of multiple myeloma has more than doubled globally since 1990. In a study, data from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease study was used to calculate incidence, mortality and disability adjusted life-years associated with myeloma. The data from 2019 was then compared with the data from 1990. 

The 155,688 recorded cases of myeloma worldwide in 2019 was 1.36 times higher than in 1990. 

Other facts from the study noted: 

  • Median age at diagnosis was 70 (2019) and 75 (1990)
  • The number of myeloma deaths increased 1.19 times from 51,862 in 1990 to 113,474 in 2019
  • In the last 15 years, the age-standardized death rate was steady for men and was down for women
  • Countries with a high social-demographic index showed higher levels of incidence and death
  • Australasia, North America and Western Europe had the highest levels of incidence (46.3% of cases) and death (41.8% of cases)
  • The three regions had the largest increase in incidence from 1990 to 2019 in Central Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Tropical Latin America
  • Monaco had the highest incidence and death rates, which were almost as half as high as the second highest country (Barbados)
  • The United Arab Emirates and Qatar had the highest growth rates of incidence and death. 

The research investigators believe that the global burden may continue with an aging population, but with lower mortality because myeloma therapy has improved significantly since 1990. 

The authors believe that understanding why Monaco had so high incidence and mortality may be significant to explore the risk factors for myeloma. Their study also suggests that the percentage of a high body mass index-related myeloma increased annually. The percentage of women was higher than that of men and had a positive association with higher socio-economic determinants.

They concluded by saying:

“Globally, incident and death MM cases have more than doubled over the past 30 years. The increasing global burden may continue with population aging, whereas mortality may continue to decrease with the progression of medical technology. The global burden pattern of MM was diverse, therefore specific local strategies based on different burden patterns for MM are necessary.”

The author Jennifer Ahlstrom

about the author
Jennifer Ahlstrom

Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of HealthTree Foundation (formerly Myeloma Crowd). 

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