Asbestosis hospitalizations in Poland (2006–2016): results from the National Hospital Discharge Registry
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Department of Social Medicine and Public Heath, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
Faculty of Law and Administration, Kazimierz Pułaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom, Poland
Krzysztof Kanecki   

Medical University of Warsaw, Oczki 3, 02-007, Warszawa, Poland
Introduction and objective:
Occupational asbestos exposure is one of the major public health issues. Although asbestos use in Poland has decreased, asbestosis continues to remain an important health concern in the area of occupational medicine. The aim of the study is to perform a descriptive analysis of hospitalization cases in patients suffering from asbestosis in Poland.

Material and methods:
The authors used hospital discharge records to conduct a retrospective, population-based study. To estimate the asbestosis hospitalization rate, data from the Nationwide General Hospital Morbidity Study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health were used. Events were defined as in-patient hospital discharges during 2006–2016. 1,101 hospitalization records of 764 patients were included in the study.

In the study group of first-time hospitalized patients, the mean and median ages were 68.1 and 69 years, respectively; CI: 67.3–68.9; SD: 11.1, min-max:16–99 years. In this group, significant gender differences were observed (560 males vs. 204 female; P<0.001). No statistical differences were observed regarding the place of residence. During the observation period, 61 in-hospital deaths were reported (8% of all patients), 40 of whom (5.2 % of all patients) took place during the first-time hospitalizations. Asbestosis hospitalizations were mainly clustered in the south-western region, whereas the highest hospitalization rates were clustered in several areas of Poland.

The authors believe this study to be the first evaluation of asbestosis in Poland made on the basis of the hospital morbidity database. The data presented may be helpful in comparative studies on the epidemiology of asbestosis across European countries.

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