Resurgence of Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners - Eastern Kentucky, 2016

The prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis fell precipitously after implementation of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and reached historic lows in the 1990s, with the most severe form, progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), nearly eradicated. Since that time, increases in the prevalence and severity of coal workers' pneumoconiosis have occurred, especially in central Appalachia.
During January 1, 2015–August 17, 2016, a total of 60 patients identified through a single radiologist's practice had radiographic findings consistent with PMF; 49 had their radiograph taken during 2016. Surveillance data have indicated a resurgence of PMF in recent years, but the cases described in this report represent a large cluster not discovered through routine surveillance.

Source: Blackley DJ, Crum JB, Halldin CN, Storey E, Laney AS. (2016). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 65,1385-–1389.

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