Recent trends of age-specific pneumoconiosis mortality rates in the United States, 1985-1996: coal workers' pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, and silicosis.
The authors examined the temporal trends of age-specific pneumoconiosis mortality from coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP), asbestosis, and silicosis in the United States in 1985-1996. Mortality data were derived from the National Center for Health Statistics multiple causes of death files for the period. Age-specific mortality rates were computed for three age groups (15-44, 45-64, and > or = 65 years) among decedents with mention of CWP, asbestosis, or silicosis. Linear regression analysis was performed to examine the annual changes in age-specific mortality rates, by age group, with each specific condition. The CWP mortality rates declined significantly (p = 0.0001) in the groups 45 years old and older, but not in the age group 15-44. Asbestosis mortality rates declined significantly (p = those aged 65 years and older. However, in the younger age group 15-44, the rates showed no significant trend. Silicosis mortality rates declined significantly (p = 0.0001) for all groups. The continued occurrence of deaths from CWP, asbestosis, and silicosis among young adults may be the result of high levels of exposure to occupational risks. These results suggest that pneumoconiosis surveillance may help to evaluate the temporal pneumoconiosis mortality patterns in the United States.