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The risk of hospitalisation for infectious pneumonia in mineral dust exposed industries
  1. Dong-Hee Koh1,
  2. Ki-Tae Moon2,
  3. Jeong-Youn Kim3,
  4. Seong-Weon Choe1
  1. 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI), Korea Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Research Center for Review and Assessment, Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Worker's Health Protection Division, Occupational Safety and Health Bureau, Ministry of Labor, Joongang-Dong, Gwacheon-city, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dong-Hee Koh, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI), Korea Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), #34-4, Gusan-dong, Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, 403-711, Republic of Korea; koh.donghee{at}


Objectives The purpose of the study was to elucidate the relationship between industries characterised by mineral dust exposure and infectious pneumonia.

Methods The authors applied a retrospective record linkage design and used the nationwide specific health examination database and identified industries where mineral dust exposure occurs and a control group composed of workers who had been exposed to noise-only during a 2000–2004 period. The database was matched with National Health Insurance claim records to identify pneumonia admissions from 2000 to 2005. The indirectly standardised admission ratios (SARs) for pneumonia admissions were estimated by comparing mineral dust exposed industry workers with noise-only exposed workers.

Results The authors found significantly elevated SARs in both men (1.54, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.05) and women (3.23, 95% CI 1.40 to 6.37) working in the cement, lime, plaster and plaster products industries, and only in men working in the cast-metals industry (foundry) (1.64, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.11).

Conclusions These results support the association between mineral dust exposure, as well as metal fumes, and infectious pneumonia.

  • Dust
  • pneumonia
  • silica
  • mineral dust
  • respiratory
  • inorganic dusts

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  • Funding This study was supported by Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.