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Emphysema and airway obstruction in non-smoking South African gold miners with long exposure to silica dust.
Occup Environ Med 1994; 51(8):557-63OE

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Occupational exposure to silica dust is associated with significant impairment of lung function. The present study investigates which pathological changes in the lung are associated with impairment of lung function in silica dust exposed workers who were life-long non-smokers.

METHODS

242 South African white gold miners who were lifelong non-smokers and who had a necropsy at death were studied. The pathological features identified at necropsy were the degree and type of emphysema, the presence of airway disease, and the degree of silicosis in the lung parenchyma and pleura. These features were related to lung function tests done a few years before death, to type of impairment (obstructive or restrictive), and to cumulative silica dust exposure.

RESULTS

The degree of emphysema found at necropsy was not associated with a statistically significant impairment of lung function or with dust exposure. The degree of silicosis in the lung parenchyma and the large airways disease (based on mucus gland hyperplasia) were associated with a statistically significant impairment of lung function. The large airway disease was, however, not positively associated with dust exposure or silicosis. In miners with a moderate or a higher degree of limitation of airflow the main findings were silicosis, heart disease, and obesity. The presence of small airways disease could not be established from the necropsy material.

CONCLUSION

The results indicate that the level of exposure to silica dust to which these miners were exposed, without a confounding effect of tobacco smoking, is not associated with a degree of emphysema that would cause a statistically significant impairment of lung function. Silicosis of the lung parenchyma was associated with loss of lung function. Other factors that may play a part in impairment of lung function in these miners are obesity and heart disease.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

7951782

Citation

Hnizdo, E, et al. "Emphysema and Airway Obstruction in Non-smoking South African Gold Miners With Long Exposure to Silica Dust." Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 51, no. 8, 1994, pp. 557-63.
Hnizdo E, Sluis-Cremer GK, Baskind E, et al. Emphysema and airway obstruction in non-smoking South African gold miners with long exposure to silica dust. Occup Environ Med. 1994;51(8):557-63.
Hnizdo, E., Sluis-Cremer, G. K., Baskind, E., & Murray, J. (1994). Emphysema and airway obstruction in non-smoking South African gold miners with long exposure to silica dust. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(8), pp. 557-63.
Hnizdo E, et al. Emphysema and Airway Obstruction in Non-smoking South African Gold Miners With Long Exposure to Silica Dust. Occup Environ Med. 1994;51(8):557-63. PubMed PMID: 7951782.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Emphysema and airway obstruction in non-smoking South African gold miners with long exposure to silica dust. AU - Hnizdo,E, AU - Sluis-Cremer,G K, AU - Baskind,E, AU - Murray,J, PY - 1994/8/1/pubmed PY - 1994/8/1/medline PY - 1994/8/1/entrez SP - 557 EP - 63 JF - Occupational and environmental medicine JO - Occup Environ Med VL - 51 IS - 8 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Occupational exposure to silica dust is associated with significant impairment of lung function. The present study investigates which pathological changes in the lung are associated with impairment of lung function in silica dust exposed workers who were life-long non-smokers. METHODS: 242 South African white gold miners who were lifelong non-smokers and who had a necropsy at death were studied. The pathological features identified at necropsy were the degree and type of emphysema, the presence of airway disease, and the degree of silicosis in the lung parenchyma and pleura. These features were related to lung function tests done a few years before death, to type of impairment (obstructive or restrictive), and to cumulative silica dust exposure. RESULTS: The degree of emphysema found at necropsy was not associated with a statistically significant impairment of lung function or with dust exposure. The degree of silicosis in the lung parenchyma and the large airways disease (based on mucus gland hyperplasia) were associated with a statistically significant impairment of lung function. The large airway disease was, however, not positively associated with dust exposure or silicosis. In miners with a moderate or a higher degree of limitation of airflow the main findings were silicosis, heart disease, and obesity. The presence of small airways disease could not be established from the necropsy material. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that the level of exposure to silica dust to which these miners were exposed, without a confounding effect of tobacco smoking, is not associated with a degree of emphysema that would cause a statistically significant impairment of lung function. Silicosis of the lung parenchyma was associated with loss of lung function. Other factors that may play a part in impairment of lung function in these miners are obesity and heart disease. SN - 1351-0711 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/7951782/Emphysema_and_airway_obstruction_in_non_smoking_South_African_gold_miners_with_long_exposure_to_silica_dust_ L2 - http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=7951782 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -