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Trends in global, regional and national incidence of pneumoconiosis caused by different aetiologies: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017


Objectives Pneumoconiosis remains a major global occupational health hazard and illness. Accurate data on the incidence of pneumoconiosis are critical for health resource planning and development of health policy.

Methods We collected data for the period between 1990 and 2017 on the annual incident cases and the age-standardised incidence rates (ASIR) of pneumoconiosis aetiology from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. We calculated the average annual percentage changes of ASIR by sex, region and aetiology in order to determine the trends of pneumoconiosis.

Results Globally, the number of pneumoconiosis cases increased by a measure of 66.0%, from 36 186 in 1990 to 60 055 in 2017. The overall ASIR decreased by an average of 0.6% per year in the same period. The number of pneumoconiosis cases increased across the five sociodemographic index regions, and there was a decrease in the ASIR from 1990 to 2017. The ASIR of silicosis, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and other pneumoconiosis decreased. In contrast, measures of the ASIR of asbestosis displayed an increasing trend. Patterns of the incidence of pneumoconiosis caused by different aetiologies were found to have been heterogeneous for analyses across regions and among countries.

Conclusion Incidence patterns of pneumoconiosis which were caused by different aetiologies varied considerably across regions and countries of the world. The patterns of incidence and temporal trends should facilitate the establishment of more effective and increasingly targeted methods for prevention of pneumoconiosis and reduce associated disease burden.

  • hygiene / occupational hygiene
  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • pneumoconioses
  • international occupational health

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