Endemic pleural plaques are reported from many parts of the world. In Central Europe and in Finland no connection with malignant mesotheliomas has been found, whereas this tumour is often encountered in areas in Turkey where endemic plaques also occur. There seem, however, to be differences in the radiological appearances found in these areas. In the present study chest radiographs of 317 persons with pleural plaques from the endemic area of Finland were scrutinized. It was found that 4.7% showed a blunted costophrenic angle unilaterally and 0.9% bilaterally. The prevalence of sequelae of pleurisy is statistically very highly significantly lower than in people with pleural plaques in Turkey. As the risk of mesothelioma appears to be low in Finland, the results are in accordance with the hypothesis that the risk of mesothelioma in a given population is higher if in that population there is a high incidence of benign asbestos pleurisy.
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