Clinical study of asbestos-related lung cancer

Ind Health. 2003 Apr;41(2):94-100. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.41.94.


We analyzed the characteristics of 120 patients of primary lung cancer supposed to be induced by exposure to asbestos. Most of 120 patients were male and the age ranged from 47 to 87 years with a median of 70 years. No particular tendency was observed in the histological types of the lung cancer in 120 patients. Forty of the 120 patients were heavy smokers. When the occupational history was analyzed, most of the patients had been exposed to asbestos in former Japanese naval shipyard, commercial shipyards, construction industry and ironworks. The term of asbestos exposure was 2 to 60 years with a median 27 years. Lung cancers appeared after 15 to 69 years with a median 43 years from the initial exposure to asbestos. Lung cancer was accompanied by asbestosis in 35 patients and by pleural plaques in 77. Twenty-two patients had both asbestosis and pleural plaques. The number of asbestos bodies per 5 g wet lung tissue for 72 patients whose lung tissues obtained from autopsy or surgery was more than 150 bodies which meant the number of occupational asbestos exposure. As for the kinds of asbestos fibers of 32 patients, 14 patients exposed to crocidolite, 10 patients to amosite and 8 patients to chrysotile.

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asbestos / analysis*
  • Asbestosis / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Environmental Monitoring / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Pleural Diseases / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Time Factors


  • Asbestos