The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that are associated with the occurrence of small irregular opacities in the chest radiographs of coalminers, and whether the lung function of miners with irregular opacities differed from that of miners with small rounded opacities, a mixture of small rounded and irregular opacities, or an absence of opacities. A subsample of 6166 coalminers was selected from 9076 miners who had been examined by the US Public Health Service as part of the National Study of Coalworkers' Pneumoconiosis. The subsample consisted of 4479 smokers and 1687 non-smokers. The chest radiograph of each miner was classified according to the UICC/Cincinnati Classification.
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