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Lancet. 1982 Sep 11;2(8298):600-3.

Post-mortem study of emphysema in coalworkers and non-coalworkers.


A post-mortem survey of emphysema in coalworkers and non-coalworkers was carried out in men aged 50-70 years dying of ischaemic heart disease (IHD). It was determined that in such men selection for necropsy was similar in coalworkers and non-coalworkers. All lungs were examined in a standard way and the amounts of centrilobular and panacinar emphysema were scored on numerical scales. Emphysema in men dying of IHD was significantly more frequent in coalworkers than in non-coalworkers even after age and smoking habits were accounted for by stratification. In the coalworkers, the severity of emphysema was related to the amount of dust in simple foci in the lungs. Because both groups were selected similarly from their parent populations the relative frequency of emphysema found in this study reflects that in the whole populations of coalworkers and non-coalworkers in the study area and confirms an excess of emphysema in coalworkers. This excess is likely to be due to occupational factors.

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