Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(6):567-573    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2105

Asbestos-related findings in chest radiographs of the male population of the county of Telemark, Norway--a cross-sectional study.

by Hilt B, Lien JT, Lund-Larsen PG, Lund K, Langard S

In order to investigate the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases, a cross-sectional population study was conducted among 28,216 men aged 40 years in nine municipalities of the county of Telemark, Norway. In a primary radiographic screening 10 X 10-cm chest radiographs were taken of 21,483 persons. In two independent readings of the radiographs, pleural changes were observed in 6.9 and 8.5% of the study subjects. Radiographic findings in the primary screening led to 1,431 subjects being selected for a reexamination. On the basis of occupational histories and 40 X 40-cm chest radiographs, it was concluded that 470 of these subjects (2.2% of the screened population) had radiographic changes consistent with an asbestos-related disorder. Among these, 86 had lung fibrosis (82 in combination with pleural plaques) and 384 had pleural plaques only. There were marked differences in the occurrence of asbestos-related disorders between the seven urban and two rural communities studied, and agreement was observed between the occurrence of such disorders and the degree and duration of the reported asbestos exposure. The study presents evidence that asbestos-related disorders may be more prevalent in the general male population than has been recognized earlier.