asbestos-related_disease_indicators.doc

There is no cure for asbestosis only treatment to

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There is no cure for asbestosis, only treatment to relieve the symptoms. Although asbestosis does not directly cause death, it may be an underlying cause of death in people diagnosed with the condition because the reduced lung function places great stress on the body’s vital organs. Many deaths among people diagnosed with asbestosis are caused by respiratory or cardiac failure. In addition, people with asbestosis also have a greater likelihood of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma. New cases Unlike mesothelioma, asbestosis is not a notifiable disease; so the number of new cases diagnosed each year is unknown. This report uses the number of asbestosis-related hospitalisations; the number of compensation claims for asbestosis accepted by the NSW Dust Diseases Board; and the number of accepted workers’ compensation claims for asbestosis as indicators for the prevalence of the disease in the community. Although compensated cases of asbestosis have been accepted as work-related, hospitalisations for asbestosis are not necessarily work-related. However, the degree of exposure to asbestos fibres necessary for asbestosis to develop was usually only found in workplace environments. Figure 6 shows that the number of hospitalisations attributed to asbestosis has varied over the period 1993–94 to 2007–08. However, care should be taken interpreting the data because it includes people who may have been admitted to hospital more than once. Asbestosis often leads to other serious conditions so people with the disease may be admitted to hospital for other illnesses not coded as related to asbestosis. The number of hospitalisations ranged from a minimum of 62 in 1997–98 to a maximum of 147 in 2004–05. The rise and fall in numbers each year is consistent with chance variation when reporting small numbers. Asbestosis is a disease that predominately affects men because they usually worked in those occupations exposed to high levels of asbestos fibres. Over the period 1998–99 to 2007–08, there were 1146 hospitalisations related to asbestosis, of which 97% were for men. The decline from 1995–96 to 1997–98 coincided with a change in the way diseases were coded internationally (for further information see Explanatory notes on page 13).The changes to the coding of diseases and the associated switch from manual to automated coding were likely to have been a factor in the decline.
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7 ... Safe Work Australia
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Figure 6 Hospitalisations for asbestosis: number by sex, 1992–94 to 2007–08 Note: Dotted line indicates data were coded under ICD9 system, solid line indicates ICD10-AM coding used. Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database. In addition, changes to, and advances in the treatment of asbestosis, such as home-based treatment with oxygen etc., may also affect the overall number of hospitalisations related to asbestosis.
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