History and epidemiology of coalworkers' pneumoconiosis.
Virginia Med Month 1969 Dec; 96:709-711
Coalworkers' pneumoconiosis is a pathologic entity, recognizable in life by a characteristic roentgenographic appearance coupled with a history of appropriate dust exposure. It is generally regarded as distinct from silicosis although controversy about this still exists. Studies of the prevalence of this condition in the Appalachian coal mining states reveal a marked variation from region to region. The prevalence among working miners ranges from 10 to 30 percent. Among retired and ex-miners the prevalence ranges from nearly 15 to 75 percent. An hypothesis relating the prevalence of coalworkers' pneumoconiosis to the rank of coal mined in that area may explain the regional variations. Among coal miners there is an excess mortality for diseases of the respiratory system. Miners and their wives suffer from respiratory symptoms more frequently than the rest of the adult population in the United States. Miners generally have lower ventilatory capacity than adult males in other occupations.
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