Reasons for increased urinary excretion of hydroxyproline containing peptides in workers with coalworkers' pneumoconiosis were sought through a study of 24 miners admitted for detailed assessment of their cardiopulmonary function. A comparison group was composed of nine men who were not miners. Six of the patients had category 1 simple pneumoconiosis and their urinary hydroxyproline excretions ranged between 32 and 46 with a mean of 37 milligrams (mg). Category 2 pneumoconiosis was present in an additional six subjects with hydroxyproline excretions ranging from 23 to 47 and a mean of 36mg. Radiological changes indicating category 3 were present in seven subjects with hydroxyproline excretions from 26 to 62 with a mean of 42mg. Progressive massive fibrosis was present in five subjects with hydroxyproline excretion ranging from 15 to 65 and a mean of 34mg. These findings indicate that urinary hydroxyproline excretion for coal miners with simple pneumoconiosis fell in the normal range, even in several cases where an elevated level had been expected. The authors note that tissues containing appreciable amounts of collagen might give rise to increased excretion of urinary hydroxyproline when involved in a destructive process. However, large changes in collagen turnover are needed before a significant change in the rate of hydroxyproline excretion will be noticed.
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