Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1989;15(2):106-110    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1877

Amosite mesothelioma in a cohort of asbestos workers.

by Ribak J, Seidman H, Selikoff IJ

A cohort of 820 asbestos workers with a short duration of exposure to amosite between 1941 and 1945 was followed. These men were alive five years after starting work and were observed until 1988. Seventeen cases of malignant mesothelioma (eight pleural, nine peritoneal) were found. The mean age at the onset of exposure was 33 years for men with pleural mesothelioma and 30 years for those with peritoneal mesothelioma. Chest pain was the main symptom in pleural mesothelioma and abdominal pain in peritoneal mesothelioma. Open lung biopsy was the most useful diagnostic approach for pleural mesothelioma, whereas for peritoneal mesothelioma it was exploratory laparotomy. Pleural patients died of pulmonary insufficiency, and peritoneal patients of wasting and inanition. In both groups the death certificate diagnosis was less accurate than the clinical diagnosis at death. The mean survival was 12.5 months from first symptom to death for the pleural group and 5.4 months for the peritoneal group.