Abstract: A few reports have described increasing trends and spatial distribution of multiple myeloma (MM). We used a validated database including the 1606 cases of MM diagnosed in Sardinia in 1974–2003 to explore its time trend, and we applied Bayesian methods to plot MM probability by administrative unit on the regional map. Over the 30 years of observation, the MM standardized incidence rate (standard world population, all ages) was 2.17 × 10–5 (95% CI 2.01–2.34), 2.29 (95% CI 2.06–2.52) among men, and 2.06 (95% CI 1.83–2.28) among women. MM incidence increased by 3.3%/year in 1974–2003, in both males and females, particularly among the elderly and in the high incidence areas. Areas at risk tended to cluster in the north-eastern part of the region. A higher proportion of elderly in the resident population, but not socioeconomic factors, nor livestock farming, was associated with higher incidence rates. The steep upward time trend and the spatial clustering of MM suggest interactions between genetic and environmental determinants that might be more efficiently investigated in the areas at risk.
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