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Pneumoconiosis mortality and morbidity trends in the United States, 1968-2004.

Attfield-MD; Bang-KM; Petsonk-EL; Mazurek-JM
Proceedings of XVIIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, June 29, 2008 - July 2, 2008, Seoul, Korea. Seoul, Korea: Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, 2008 Jun; :1-5
Objective: To describe trends in pneumoconiosis in the United States during 1968-2004. Methods: The National Center for Health Statistics multiple cause-of-death records were used to derive numbers of deaths and death rates for asbestosis, coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), and silicosis. Morbidity data on CWP from a large national worker monitoring program were used to derive CWP prevalence defined as presence on the chest radiograph of small opacities category 1/0 or greater or large opacities, as determined by at least two National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) readers. Results: Overall, annual asbestosis deaths increased over 19-fold from 78 in 1968 to 1,493 in 2000 and then declined to 1,470 in 2004, due mostly to a drop in asbestosis deaths among those aged < / = 74; deaths continue to increase among individuals aged > / =75. Silicosis deaths decreased nearly 6-fold from 1,065 in 1968 to 178 in 1998; no substantial change was observed thereafter in all age groups (mean 166 deaths/year for 1999-2004 overall, with a mean of 4 deaths/year among individuals aged 15-44 years). CWP deaths peaked in 1972 (n=2,910), and then declined more than 4-fold to 703 in 2004. After 1998, the number of CWP deaths continued to decline among those aged >/= 65, but appeared to increase among younger individuals (15-44 years old). CWP prevalence in working coal miners with 20 years of tenure increased nearly 3-fold from 3.2% in 1995-1999 to 8.3% in 2005-2006. Conclusions: The slight decline from 2000 through 2004 in asbestosis deaths suggests that asbestosis mortality has peaked in the U.S. Mortality data for silicosis indicate a continuing occupational risk, even in younger workers. The increase in both CWP mortality and CWP morbidity suggests that past gains in disease prevention are being compromised.
Asbestos-workers; Silica-dusts; Silicate-miners; Silicates; Silicon-compounds; Asbestos-dust; Asbestos-fibers; Asbestos-industry; Asbestos-mining; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Statistical-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Work-environment; Work-practices; Worker-health; Workplace-studies; Surveillance
1332-21-4; 7440-21-3
Publication Date
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings
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NIOSH Division
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Proceedings of XVIIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, June 29, 2008 - July 2, 2008, Seoul, Korea
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division