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Differential respirable dust related lung function effects between current and former South African coal miners.
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2005; 78(4):293-302IA

Abstract

Dust-related dose-response decrements in lung function among coal miners have been reported in several studies, with varying magnitudes across populations. Few studies have compared differences between current and former coal miners. No studies on dose response relationships with lung function have been conducted in South African coal mines, one of the top three producers of coal internationally. The objectives of this study were (1) to describe the relationship between respirable dust exposure and lung function among current and former South African coal miners and to determine whether differential dust related effects were present between these employment categories; (2) to examine dust related dose response relationships, controlling for potential confounding by smoking and a history of tuberculosis (TB). Six hundred and eighty-four current and 188 ex-miners from three bituminous coal mines in Mpumalanga Province were studied. Interviews assessing work histories, smoking profiles and other risk factors were conducted. Work histories were also obtained from company records. Standardised spirometry was performed by trained technicians. Cumulative respirable dust exposure (CDE) estimates were constructed from company-collected sampling and measurements conducted by the researchers. Regression models examined the associations of CDE with per cent predicted FEV(1) and FVC, controlling for smoking, past history of TB and employment status. A statistically significant decline in FEV(1) of 1.1 and 2.2 ml/mg-year/m(3) was found in representative 40-year-old, 1.7-m tall current and former miners, respectively. Significant differences were found between the highest and medium exposure categories. Ex-miners had a lower mean per cent predicted lung function than current miners for each cumulative exposure category, suggesting a "healthy worker" effect. Past history of TB contributed to 21 and 14% declines in per cent predicted FEV(1) and FVC, respectively. Thus, in this cohort, a dose-related decline in lung function was associated with respirable dust exposure, with a magnitude of effect similar to that seen in other studies and important differences between current and former employees. A "healthy worker" effect may have attenuated the magnitude of this relationship. TB was a significant contributor to lung function loss.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health/Department of Community Health, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag x7, Congella, 4013, South Africa. naidoon@ukzn.ac.zaNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15785947

Citation

Naidoo, Rajen N., et al. "Differential Respirable Dust Related Lung Function Effects Between Current and Former South African Coal Miners." International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol. 78, no. 4, 2005, pp. 293-302.
Naidoo RN, Robins TG, Seixas N, et al. Differential respirable dust related lung function effects between current and former South African coal miners. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2005;78(4):293-302.
Naidoo, R. N., Robins, T. G., Seixas, N., Lalloo, U. G., & Becklake, M. (2005). Differential respirable dust related lung function effects between current and former South African coal miners. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 78(4), pp. 293-302.
Naidoo RN, et al. Differential Respirable Dust Related Lung Function Effects Between Current and Former South African Coal Miners. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2005;78(4):293-302. PubMed PMID: 15785947.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Differential respirable dust related lung function effects between current and former South African coal miners. AU - Naidoo,Rajen N, AU - Robins,Thomas G, AU - Seixas,Noah, AU - Lalloo,Umesh G, AU - Becklake,Margaret, Y1 - 2005/03/23/ PY - 2004/03/10/received PY - 2004/12/14/accepted PY - 2005/3/24/pubmed PY - 2005/9/10/medline PY - 2005/3/24/entrez SP - 293 EP - 302 JF - International archives of occupational and environmental health JO - Int Arch Occup Environ Health VL - 78 IS - 4 N2 - Dust-related dose-response decrements in lung function among coal miners have been reported in several studies, with varying magnitudes across populations. Few studies have compared differences between current and former coal miners. No studies on dose response relationships with lung function have been conducted in South African coal mines, one of the top three producers of coal internationally. The objectives of this study were (1) to describe the relationship between respirable dust exposure and lung function among current and former South African coal miners and to determine whether differential dust related effects were present between these employment categories; (2) to examine dust related dose response relationships, controlling for potential confounding by smoking and a history of tuberculosis (TB). Six hundred and eighty-four current and 188 ex-miners from three bituminous coal mines in Mpumalanga Province were studied. Interviews assessing work histories, smoking profiles and other risk factors were conducted. Work histories were also obtained from company records. Standardised spirometry was performed by trained technicians. Cumulative respirable dust exposure (CDE) estimates were constructed from company-collected sampling and measurements conducted by the researchers. Regression models examined the associations of CDE with per cent predicted FEV(1) and FVC, controlling for smoking, past history of TB and employment status. A statistically significant decline in FEV(1) of 1.1 and 2.2 ml/mg-year/m(3) was found in representative 40-year-old, 1.7-m tall current and former miners, respectively. Significant differences were found between the highest and medium exposure categories. Ex-miners had a lower mean per cent predicted lung function than current miners for each cumulative exposure category, suggesting a "healthy worker" effect. Past history of TB contributed to 21 and 14% declines in per cent predicted FEV(1) and FVC, respectively. Thus, in this cohort, a dose-related decline in lung function was associated with respirable dust exposure, with a magnitude of effect similar to that seen in other studies and important differences between current and former employees. A "healthy worker" effect may have attenuated the magnitude of this relationship. TB was a significant contributor to lung function loss. SN - 0340-0131 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15785947/Differential_respirable_dust_related_lung_function_effects_between_current_and_former_South_African_coal_miners_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-005-0602-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -