Asbestosis is a debilitating, chronic, lung disease with no known treatment and most commonly occurs among workers in certain occupational settings. As a condition highly associated with occupational exposure, its incidence has been affected by changes in industry standards. In particular, the bans on both production and new uses of asbestos fibers put in place during the past 20 to 30 years have significantly reduced occupational exposures. Despite these restrictions, asbestos can still be found in many products. Louisiana has more facilities that produce, process, or use asbestos than any other state in the US. Health outcomes associated with asbestos exposure include asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. To evaluate the impact of asbestos exposure on Louisiana residents, Louisiana Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data (LAHIDD) from 1999-2009 was analyzed. Results indicate that asbestosis hospitalizations have remained steady over the 11-year period with approximately 295 cases per year. White males have the highest rates, and cases are clustered geographically. Overall, Louisiana's rate is significantly greater than the US rate (p < 0.0001).
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