Circulating antinuclear and rheumatoid factors in coal miners.
Lippmann-M; Eckert-HL; Hahon-N; Morgan-WK
Ann Intern Med 1973 Dec; 79(6):807-811
An epidemiological study was conducted on the presence of antinuclear and rheumatoid factors in blood sera of coal (8002059) miners. The cohort consisted of 236 working miners from 31 mines in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. All miners underwent a limited medical examination that consisted of posteroanterior and lateral chest films, and spirometry. A questionnaire was given and data on incidences of bronchitis and respiratory symptoms was obtained. Blood serum was sampled from all subjects and rheumatoid factor tests were carried out. Antinuclear antibody determinations were performed by immunofluorescence. One hundred and fifty six subjects with occupational pneumoconiosis were interviewed and anthropometric data was analyzed. About 4 percent of miners had a rheumatoid factor titer of 1/160 or greater and showed radiographic evidence of pneumoconiosis. Other miners had rheumatoid factor titers in the range of 1/320 to 1/40. Thirty four percent of coal miners with pneumoconiosis showed antinuclear antibodies whereas only 2 miners with normal radiographs had antibodies. No significant difference between simple and complicated pneumoconiosis was noted with respect to antinuclear antibodies. Bituminous miners had a significantly lower antibody titer in relation to anthracite miners. The authors conclude that unknown chemical agents present in anthracite and certain bituminous coal mine dusts may be responsible for enhanced antibody formation.
NIOSH-Author; Medical-examinations; Clinical-symptoms; Bioassays; Chemical-composition; Blood-analysis; Spirometry; Mining-industry; Immunochemistry; Occupational-hazards; Biochemical-analysis
Annals of Internal Medicine