If you breathed in asbestos fiber, it can attack the membranes surrounding the heart, lungs and abdomen and lead to disease development. Over 2,000 people death because of Mesothelioma each year. Identifying the links between this deadly disease and asbestos exposure are important and ongoing. One important study entitled, The epidermiologic relationship between pleural mesothelioma and asbestos exposure by Nurminen M. – Scand J Work Environ Health. 1975 Jun;1(2):128-37 trying to find the link between asbestos exposure and the development of this deadly disease.
Here is an excerpt:
The paper describes an investigation of 85 notifications of either probable or possible mesothelioma to the Finnish Cancer Registry from 1953 through 1969. The investigation covers characteristic epidemiologic features and the possibility of the mesothelioma being connected with occupational or other exposure to asbestos. The incidence rate of pleural mesothelioma was estimated at 1.1 per million per year. The male/female ratio was 1.3:1, which greatly differed fsrom that for malignant neoplasms of the bronchus or lung in Finland in 1960. The mean age at death from mesothelioma was over 7 years lower than that for bronchial carcinoma. The ratio of the crude incidence rates for the urban and rural populations was 4.2; the corresponding ratio for cases of carcinoma oopulations was 4.2; the corresponding ratio for cases of carcinoma of the bronchus or lung was 1.2 in Finland in 1960. The Last Occupations of the 82 Deceased Persons, Obtained from the Death Certificates, were Divided into Three Categories According to Possible Asbestos Exposure. Exposure was present or probable in 9 (11.0) cases, 28 (34.2 %) had a possible exposure, and in 33 (40.2 %) cases exposure was absent or unlikely. The occupation of 12 (14.6) persons was unknown. Additional information of possible exposure history was obtained by interviewing the relatives of 10 mesothelioma patients. For half of the persons a definite, although in some cases trivial, exposure to asbestos could be ascertained. For the other five persons no exposure, either occupational, neighborhood or domestic, to asbestos could be traced. The residental distribution of the 85 persons with mesothelioma revealed no clustering of cases.
A second study by D A Schwartz, J R Galvin, S J Yagla, S B Speakman, J A Merchant, and G W Hunninghake – J Clin Invest, called Restrictive lung function and asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis. A quantitative approach has aims to assess further the clinical significance of asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis. They we used a computer algorithm to reconstruct images three dimensionally from the high-resolution computerized tomography (HRCT) scan of the chest in 60 asbestos-exposed subjects. Pulmonary function tests, chest radiographs, and HRCT scans were performed on all study subjects. Asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis was from the three-dimensional reconstruction of the HRCT scan. The volume of the total chest cavity (among those with pleural fibrosis identified on the HRCT scan (n = 29)), is varied from 0.01% (0.5 ml) and 7.11% (260.4 ml). The researchers compared the computer-derived estimate of pleural fibrosis to the total lung capacity and found that these measures were inversely related (r = -0.40; P = 0.002) to investigate the relationship between asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis and restrictive lung function. The volume of pleural fibrosis identified on the three-dimensional reconstructed image from the HRCT scan was inversely associated with the total lung capacity (P = 0.03) and independently accounted for 9.5% of the variance of this measure of lung volume after controlling for age, height, pack-years of cigarette smoking, and the presence of interstitial fibrosis on the chest radiograph. The findings of this study further extend the scientific data supporting an independent association between pleural fibrosis and restrictive lung function.
Please read the studies in entirety if you find this helpful and interesting.