Epidemiological data on US coal miners' pneumoconiosis, 1960 to 1988

Am J Public Health. 1992 Jul;82(7):964-70. doi: 10.2105/ajph.82.7.964.


Objectives: Statistics on prevalence of pneumoconiosis among working underground coal miners based on epidemiologic data collected between 1960 and 1988 are presented. The main intent was to examine the time-related trend in prevalence, particularly after 1969, when substantially lower dust levels were mandated by federal act.

Methods: Data from studies undertaken between 1960 and 1968 were collected and compared. Information for the period 1969 to 1988 was extracted from a large ongoing national epidemiologic study. Tenure-specific prevalence rates and summary statistics derived from the latter data for four consecutive time intervals within the 19-year period were calculated and compared.

Results: The results indicate a reduction in pneumoconiosis over time. The trend is similar to that seen in a large radiologic surveillance program of underground miners operated concurrently.

Conclusions: Although such factors as x-ray reader variation, changes in x-ray standards, and worker self-selection for examination may have influenced the findings to some extent, adjusted summary rates reveal a reduction in prevalence concurrent with reductions in coal mine dust levels mandated by federal act in 1969.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coal Mining*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.
  • Occupational Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pneumoconiosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumoconiosis / epidemiology*
  • Pneumoconiosis / prevention & control
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Primary Prevention / standards
  • Primary Prevention / trends
  • Radiography, Thoracic / classification
  • Radiography, Thoracic / standards
  • Radiography, Thoracic / trends
  • Research Design / standards
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology