Introduction Pneumoconiosis is a condition that results in fibrosis in the lung tissue due to accumulation of inorganic dusts in the lung. Smoking and exposure to inorganic dusts affect respiratory functions separately. However, the combined effect may be much more increased than either exposure alone. In this review, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between smoking and dust exposure and their effects on pulmonary function tests (PFT).
Methods Studies have been conducted between 1961 and 2016 on the relationship between smoking and dust exposure, and their effects on PFT were evaluated.
Result All 4 researches evaluated were performed in coal workers. In 1961, Ashford, et al evaluated 4014 coal workers in 3 coal mines of Scotland. Statistically significant increase in respiratory symptom frequency and decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were found in smokers compared to non-smokers. In 1980, Oger, et al investigated 465 coal workers with diagnosis of pneumoconiosis. Airflow obstruction was detected in 74.1% of smokers and 26.3% of non-smokers. In 1988, William, et al included 3380 coal workers to their study in the United Kingdom and found that smokers had higher respiratory symptoms and more FEV1 reductions. In China, Quink, et al included 376 coal workers to their study published in 2016. Of those, 200 (53.1%) were smokers. Cigarette smoking and exposure to dust impaired respiratory functions more than exposure alone and it has been determined that as the exposure time increases, the abnormality increases in the PFT. No significant difference was found between the non-smoking coal workers and the non-smoking control group.
Discussion Results of researches supporting combined effects of smoking and dust exposure reveal the requirement of minimization of dust exposure and cessation of smoking. Further studies could be performed to elucidate relationship between smoking and other types of dust exposures in terms of respiratory symptoms and dust exposure.
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