THURSDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Pneumoconiosis deaths decreased by 40.4 percent during 1999 to 2018, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jessica L. Bell, M.P.H., and Jack M. Mazurek, M.D., Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, analyzed multiple cause-of-death data for decedents aged ≥15 years for 1999 to 2018 to assess recent trends in deaths associated with pneumoconiosis. In addition, industry and occupation data were obtained from 26 states for 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2007 to 2013.

The researchers noted a 40.4 percent decrease in pneumoconiosis deaths during 1999 to 2018, with the exception of pneumoconiosis attributed to other inorganic dusts, which increased significantly. The largest observed decreases in pneumoconiosis deaths were for those associated with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and silicosis (69.6 and 53.0 percent, respectively). The most frequently reported pneumoconiosis was asbestosis, which was associated with working in the construction industry.

“The decrease in pneumoconiosis-associated deaths during 1999 to 2018 indicates that prevention strategies are effective,” the authors write. “The findings underscore the importance of maintaining primary prevention strategies to reduce exposures to respirable dusts, secondary prevention through early disease detection, and surveillance to monitor trends over time.”

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