Google News is reporting on a new study that suggests that, in addition to being an asbestos toxin, asbestos is also a common form of chronic lung disease.
The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that people who have asbestos exposure may be at higher risk of developing chronic lung diseases.
“Our study found that people with asbestos exposure have a higher prevalence of chronic disease and poorer outcomes,” said Dr. Suresh D’Souza, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne.
“We know from previous research that asbestos is a carcinogen, but the mechanisms by which it causes cancer and lung disease have not been clearly understood.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations, asbestos exposure is linked to a number of chronic diseases including cancer, respiratory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic obstructions, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and depression.
It is estimated that the worldwide health burden is $3.6 trillion per year, with some $4.2 trillion in the developing world alone.
According to a WHO report, asbestos-related diseases are the second-leading cause of death for the world’s under-18-year-olds, with the number of premature deaths from respiratory disease exceeding that from cancer.
The findings are important because while asbestos has been associated with lung cancer and other lung disorders in research and clinical trials, there has been little research on its potential impact on chronic lung health.
“In the past, we’ve been looking at asbestos as a cause of lung disease but we’ve not had any definitive studies,” said D’Seta.
In the study, researchers surveyed a cohort of 4,800 people who had asbestos exposure and also had cancer and COPD. “
The findings show that people exposed to asbestos may be more likely to develop chronic lung conditions.”
In the study, researchers surveyed a cohort of 4,800 people who had asbestos exposure and also had cancer and COPD.
The researchers then asked the people about their experiences with asbestos, which included the severity of symptoms, and how many years had passed since they had been exposed to the material.
They also looked at a range of other conditions, including depression, fatigue, chronic pain, depression, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and smoking.
The researchers found that while people with chronic lung disorders were more likely than those with no asbestos exposure to have other chronic health conditions, people with no exposure to asbestos were less likely to have depression, pain, fatigue and other chronic conditions.
The authors also noted that they found that, overall, people who developed lung disease were more than twice as likely to be asbestos-exposed compared to those who were not exposed.
“When we look at the number and severity of the symptoms and the duration of asbestos exposure, there is a significant link between the severity and frequency of the asbestos-induced conditions,” said co-author Dr. Neda Bhattacharjee, from the University at Albany.
“A link between asbestos exposure in people who develop chronic disease, and chronic disease in people exposed before they develop asbestos-associated conditions, raises important questions about how asbestos-based products affect the health of their occupants.”
“It is not clear why people exposed during the exposure period are more likely and to develop cancer,” she added.
“However, it may be that asbestos exposure during the period may also increase the severity, frequency and duration of the chronic lung disorder, leading to increased risk for its progression.”
For more on this study, see:Study: High prevalence of asbestos-like symptoms among young workers in India leads to higher risk for chronic diseaseIn the future, the AIHW hopes to use its research to help better understand the causes of the common symptoms that people report.
“It may help to understand how asbestos exposure affects the development of chronic conditions in the future,” said Professor D’ Seta.
“There are other studies showing that asbestos-specific exposures lead to other health issues, including heart disease and stroke.”
Further studies are needed to understand why some of these chronic conditions develop so quickly and what can be done to prevent the emergence of other chronic diseases from asbestos exposure.