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July 17, 1972

Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis

JAMA. 1972;221(3):301-302. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200160051019

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To the Editor.—  The article entitled "Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis" (220:223, 1972) was a tremendous disappointment. In this article, Drs. Naeye and Dellinger repeat their unfounded supposition that Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis includes such diseases as chronic bronchitis, silicosis, emphysema, "tuberculosis and occasionally other disease processes." Once again, they fail to prove their point.The authors have diligently collected anatomic data on 77 men who were miners, had been autopsied, and had had a technically acceptable x-ray film of the chest within a year of death. They present no evidence to indicate that this is a truly representative sample of all dying coal miners. Although they did note that 32 had complained of dyspnea at some time prior to death, the authors neglect to mention such descriptive data as smoking history, previous pulmonary disease, and cause of death. Without these data, it is impossible to know whether dyspnea represents more cardiac illness