Female workers' silicosis diagnosis delayed due to gender bias

Occup Med (Lond). 2019 May 25;69(3):219-222. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqz019.


After excluding alternative explanations, a silicosis diagnosis is based on the combination of appropriate silica exposure history and compatible clinical, radiological and occasionally pathological findings. Not taking appropriate occupational history by a physician may cause a misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis of silicosis. Herein, we present a female worker in a small-scale sandblasting factory who worked as a controller. Her silicosis diagnosis was established 10 years after her first symptoms, and she underwent invasive procedures due to a lack of inquiry about her occupational history. Gender bias may be one of the reasons that her occupational history was not taken.

Keywords: Female; gender bias; silicosis; underdiagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cough
  • Delayed Diagnosis / adverse effects*
  • Dyspnea
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Sexism
  • Silicosis / diagnosis*
  • Silicosis / physiopathology
  • Textile Industry