The relationship between lung cancer and anthracosilicosis is still controversial. The aim of this study was to determine whether lung cancers are more frequent than expected in a cohort of Belgian coalminers who died between 1999 and 2002.
We reviewed the causes of death of the coalminers compensated by the Belgian Compensation Board (FMP) who died between 1999 and 2002. 1188 files were so considered and analyzed. All were men, and had radiological evidence of silicosis. The cause of death was detailed in the physician’s report, extracted from the files of the Compensation Board.
The mean age of death was 76 years. The main cause of death was respiratory disease (47.9%), cardiovascular disease (21.7%), and various types of cancer (20.3%). One hundred subjects had developed a lung cancer. The mean average exposure duration time as coalminer was 13.3 years in the lung cancer group and 15 years in the non-lung cancer group. The last year of exposure was 1963 in the first group and 1961 in the second one. Smoking was frequent in both groups, but less in the non-lung cancer group (97% vs 84.3%). The histologic features of the tumors were as follows : 31 squamous cell carcinomas, 19 adenocarcinomas, 12 other non-small cell carcinomas, 12 small cell carcinomas, 1 bronchioloalveolar carcinoma, information was unavailable in 25 patients. All these results are quite similar to the data of the overall Belgian male population.
These data do not support an association between lung cancer and anthracosilicosis.
P.E. Pierard, None.