Risk Factors Associated With Asbestos-Related Diseases: Results of the Asbestos Surveillance Programme Aachen

*Khaled Khatab,1 Michael K. Felten,2 Nagianga B. Kandala,3 Gebrenegus Ghilagaber,4 Anil Gumber,1 Thomas Kraus2

1. Centre of Health and Social Care Research, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
2. Institute of Occupational and Social Medicine, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
3. University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School, Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick, UK
4. Department of Statistics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
*Correspondence to k.khatab@shu.ac.uk

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.


The aim of this study was to examine the association between workplace exposure to asbestos and risk factors for developing related chronic respiratory diseases, using the analysis of a cohort of 8,582 formerly asbestos-exposed workers, as well as to assess the grade value of three risk categories used for a focused surveillance procedure. The results showed that the participants who were aged over 65 (OR and 95% CI: 11.47 [5.48-23.99]) and active smokers (OR and 95% CI: 9.48 [4.07-22.09]), were at a significantly high risk for developing lung cancer. The risk of developing benign lesions of the lung or pleura (BLLP) was almost 6-times higher (OR and 95% CI: 5.76 [4.7-7]) for the age group over 65. The risk of developing mesothelioma was influenced by exposure duration (OR and 95% CI: 4.36 [1-19.01]); and for the age group over 65 (OR and 95% CI: 4.58 [1.86-11.27]). The study has demonstrated that the use of risk categories based on a combination of risk factors (age, smoking status, and duration of exposure) could be advantageous for planning the target health surveillance programmes.

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