The aim of this study was to examine the association between workplace exposure to asbestos and risk factors for developing related chronic respiratory diseases, using the analysis of a cohort of 8,582 formerly asbestos-exposed workers, as well as to assess the grade value of three risk categories used for a focused surveillance procedure. The results showed that the participants who were aged over 65 (OR and 95% CI: 11.47 [5.48-23.99]) and active smokers (OR and 95% CI: 9.48 [4.07-22.09]), were at a significantly high risk for developing lung cancer. The risk of developing benign lesions of the lung or pleura (BLLP) was almost 6-times higher (OR and 95% CI: 5.76 [4.7-7]) for the age group over 65. The risk of developing mesothelioma was influenced by exposure duration (OR and 95% CI: 4.36 [1-19.01]); and for the age group over 65 (OR and 95% CI: 4.58 [1.86-11.27]). The study has demonstrated that the use of risk categories based on a combination of risk factors (age, smoking status, and duration of exposure) could be advantageous for planning the target health surveillance programmes.
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