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Comprehensive Screening and Clinical Assessment for Asbestos-Related Disease

Comprehensive Screening and Clinical Assessment for Asbestos-Related Disease

Examining Mesothelioma disease by juxtaposing various research studies leads to interesting conclusions.  One interesting study is called, “A histochemical study of the asbestos body coating” by M. Governa, C. Rosanda – Br J Ind Med 1972;29:  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – A histochemical study of the asbestos body coating. Asbestos bodies after iron extraction were tested by histochemical methods for mucopolysaccharides. The results of the reactions suggest that acid mucopolysaccharides are present in the coating of most bodies. During the formation of the bodies acid mucopolysaccharides might act as a matrix for iron deposition on the coating.”

Another interesting study is called, “Medical examination for asbestos-related disease” by Stephen M. Levin MD, P. Elizabeth Kann MD, MPH, Michael B. Lax MD, MPH
Am. J. Ind. Med. 37:6–22, 2000.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – There are millions of workers whose exposure to asbestos dust prior to the implementation of asbestos regulation and improved control measures places them at risk of asbestos-related disease today. In addition, workers are still being exposed to significant amounts of asbestos, when asbestos materials in place are disturbed during renovation, repair, or demolition. Given the continued presence of asbestos-containing materials in industrial, commercial, and residential settings throughout the U.S., a sizeable population remains at risk of asbestos-related disease.

This article reviews the health effects associated with exposure to asbestos and delineates the steps necessary for the comprehensive screening and clinical assessment for asbestos-related disease, in order to assist physicians in identifying and preventing illness associated with exposure to asbestos among their patients.”

Another study is called, “Manganese superoxide dismutase genotypes and asbestos-associated pulmonary disorders” by Ari Hirvonena, Jarno Tuimalaa, Tiina Ollikainena, Kaija Linnainmaaa, Vuokko Kinnulab – Volume 178, Issue 1, Pages 71-74 (8 April 2002).  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity is highly elevated in the biopsies of human asbestos-associated malignant mesothelioma. We therefore examined if polymorphism in the mitochondrial targeting sequence of the MnSOD gene modified individual susceptibility to this malignancy or related asbestos-associated pulmonary disorders. The study population consisted of 124 male Finnish asbestos insulators who were all classified as having been exposed to high levels of asbestos; 63 of the workers had no pulmonary disorders and 61 either had malignant mesothelioma or the non-malignant pulmonary disorders asbestosis and/or pleural plaques. No significant associations were found between the MnSOD genotypes and these ill-health. This study therefore suggest no major modifying role for the MnSOD polymorphism in development of asbestos-associated pulmonary disorders.”

Another interesting study is called, “Cigarette Smoking, Asbestos Exposure, and Malignant Mesothelioma” by Joshua E. Muscat, and Ernst L. Wynder – Cancer Res May 1, 1991 51; 2263.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – In a hospital-based case-control study of 124 (105 male and 19 female) histologically confirmed malignant mesothelioma cases and age- and sex-matched controls, the role of cigarette smoking and the risk of asbestos exposure was investigated. Exposure to asbestos for at least 1 year was likely for 78% of male cases and 16% of female cases, and 90% of males were possibly exposed. Male cases worked predominately in the ship-building industry, construction, or insulation trades. Elevated risks were found for males employed in asbestos-related industries [odds ratio (OR) 8.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9–13.5], e.g., shipyards (OR 82.9, 95% CI 25.5–269.1), construction/maintenance (OR 8.3, 95% CI 4.6–14.8), and other asbestos-related jobs (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4–7.2), and for males who self-reported exposure to asbestos or insulation (OR 50.9, 95% CI 21.7–119.8). A statistically significant trend was found for the risk of mesothelioma with increasing years employed in non-shipyard asbestos-related occupations. Among women, only one case worked in an asbestos-related industry and two reported domestic contact with asbestos. No association between cigarette smoking and mesothelioma was found for either men or women. We also report the occurrence of mesothelioma in occupations which have not been previously reported.”

We all owe a debt of gratitude to these fine researchers for their important work.  If you found any of these excerpts helpful, please read the studies in their entirety.

Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article, for more information please click on the following links

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