Occup Med (Lond). 2022 Aug 6:kqac079. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqac079. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Pneumoconiosis is a well-documented occupational disease that is linked to conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Pneumoconiosis prevalence has decreased in the United States, but it remains implicated in tens of thousands of deaths worldwide per year.
AIMS: To provide a recent update on associations of pneumoconiosis and smoking status with various pulmonary diseases in the United States.
METHODS: The CDC’s National Vital Statistics System was analysed on the entity axis using ICD-10 codes for pulmonary disease and potential lung injury with a cohort of those aged 15 and older during the years 2010-2019. The cases of evaluated diseases were scaled to rates per 100 000 and compared through analysis of variance.
RESULTS: Pneumoconiosis and smoking history were each associated with an increased rate of COPD, but combined, were associated with an even higher rate of COPD than either factor alone. Smoking history was associated with an increased rate of lung cancer, but pneumoconiosis status was only linked to increased lung cancer prevalence in non-smokers. Both pneumoconiosis and smoking were associated with an increased rate of pneumonia, but combined, had no deviation from the pneumonia rate in those with pneumoconiosis alone. Finally, pneumoconiosis status was associated with decreased rates of non-lung cancers and sepsis.
CONCLUSIONS: Although pneumoconiosis has become less common in the United States through regulatory and industrial shifts, it is still a significant risk factor for co-occurring pulmonary diseases and will likely remain relevant as international demands for mining, construction and manufacturing change.