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Carcinoma of the lung in Lancashire coalminers.
  1. G B Rooke,
  2. F G Ward,
  3. A N Dempsey,
  4. J B Dowler,
  5. C J Whitaker


    The prevalence at death of carcinoma of the lung in miners and ex-miners has been compared in those with and without pneumoconiosis at necropsy. The prevalence of 11.4% in the group as a whole is no greater than that in the male population in North-west England. Carcinoma of the lung was present in 62 (13.1%) of those without pneumoconiosis and in 52 (9.8%) of those with pneumoconiosis. The mean age at death of those with pneumoconiosis was 71.3 years so that they cannot be said to have died before the age at which they would have developed carcinoma. Those with progressive massive fibrosis whose mean age at death was 72 years had the lowest prevalence of carcinoma of the lung at all ages--8.4%. For reasons stated in the text this is inevitably a biased sample. The number of those without pneumoconiosis is probably lower than the true figure because the deaths of miners and ex-miners in whom there is no suspicion of lung disease may not have been reported to the coroner or to the pneumoconiosis medical panel. There appears to be no positive link between carcinoma of the lung and pneumoconiosis. There is a surprisingly high number of smokers and ex-smokers among these miners, and this appears to have more relevance to the prevalence of carcinoma of the lung than does pneumoconiosis.

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