Epidemiological data on US coal miners' pneumoconiosis, 1960 to 1988.
Am J Publ Health 1992 Jul; 82(7):964-970
A study of time related trends of the prevalence of coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) among US coal miners was conducted. Data obtained during eight epidemiological studies of the prevalence of CWP in workers employed in coal mines in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Appalachia, Illinois, Indiana, and Utah published between 1961 and 1970 and the National Study of CWP (NSCWP) for the period 1969 to 1988 were utilized. The NSCWP was a large ongoing nationwide epidemiological study of CWP managed by NIOSH. Data in the NSCWP were obtained by analyzing chest X-rays according to International Labor Office criteria and were collected in four rounds: 1969 to 1971, 1972 to 1975, 1977 to 1981, and 1985 to 1988. CWP prevalence rates as a function of time spent working underground (tenure time) were calculated. Analysis of data in the eight regional epidemiological studies indicated that the CWP prevalence rates ranged from 4 to 46% and appeared to increase with coal rank, but could not be readily related to tenure time because the mean tenure times and ages of the miners were similar across all coal rank classifications. The NSCWP data indicated that the prevalence of CWP increased with increasing coal rank and increasing tenure underground. The overall prevalence decreased over time. The prevalence of simple CWP determined during Round 4 of the NSCWP was only about a third of that during Round 1. The decrease in prevalence rates for the more severe categories of CWP between Rounds 1 and 4 were greater. The authors conclude that the prevalence rates of CWP in US coal miners have decreased over time. The decreases probably reflect decreases in coal mine dust exposures as mandated by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Coal-miners; Information-systems; Chest-X-rays; Surveillance-programs; Respiratory-system-disorders
American Journal of Public Health