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Editorials |

Asbestos Exposure, Asbestosis, and Lung Cancer

Daniel E. Banks, MD, FCCP; Mei-lin Wang, MD; John E. Parker, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Morgantown, WV 
 ,  Dr. Banks is Professor of Medicine and Chief, Dr. Wang is Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, and Dr. Parker is Professor of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Daniel E. Banks, MD, FCCP, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, 26506-9166; e-mail: dbanks@wvu.edu



Chest. 1999;115(2):320-322. doi:10.1378/chest.115.2.320
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The first systematic assessment of whether exposure to asbestos or the fibrotic response to asbestos fiber inhalation (asbestosis) is the cause of excess lung cancer was raised in a 1949 report.1 Lung cancer occurred in 35 of 235 (13.2%) autopsied deaths where asbestosis was identified. In 1955, the first mortality study of a cohort of asbestos-exposed workers2 showed that among 105 deaths, lung cancer was found in 18 instances, 15 times in association with asbestosis. In the 3 without asbestosis, the latencies (time from first exposure to death) were 2, 12, and 11 years, respectively.


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