Background. There is a paucity of literature on the chest radiographic findings in uranium workers.

Objective. To characterize the chest radiographic findings of pneumoconiosis in a New Mexican cohort of uranium workers.

Methods. The most recent results from chest radiographs were abstracted in this cross-sectional study.

Results. Radiographs showed small pneumoconiotic opacities of profusion score of ≥ 1/0 in 155/429 (36.1%) uranium workers. The most common shape/size of the primary and secondary opacities was s (90.3%) and t (83.7%) types, respectively. Lower lung zones were the most affected. American Indians were the population group at greatest odds for having profusion score ≥ 1/0 (O.R. 2.65, 95% C.I. 1.61, 4.36).

Conclusions. Uranium workers’ pneumoconiosis is associated with predominantly lower lobe, irregular, and small opacities. Clinical providers and policymakers must consider uranium workers’ pneumoconiosis in the differential diagnosis for lower lobe-predominant interstitial lung disease, in the appropriate exposure setting.


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pp. 116-127
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