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Asbestos exposure and autoantibody titers

이은수, 김영기, 김세영, 강동묵,
소속 상세정보
이은수 ( Lee Eun-Soo ) - Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
김영기 ( Kim Young-Ki ) - Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
김세영 ( Kim Se-Yeong ) - Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
강동묵 ( Kang Dong-Mug ) - Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Abstract


Background: Asbestos is a well-known hazardous substance that causes occupational and environmental diseases including asbestosis (lung fibrosis). Silica exposure which causes silicosis (another type of lung fibrosis) has long been linked to the development of autoimmune diseases; however, there are few studies on the relationship between asbestos exposure and autoimmune diseases.

Methods: A total of 54 individuals who had worked in a former asbestos textile factory underwent autoantibody-related blood tests, chest X-ray imaging, and pulmonary function tests. Based on the job exposure matrix (JEM), the estimated asbestos exposure concentrations were determined, and the presence of asbestosis was determined by chest radiography.

Results: Scleroderma (Scl-70) and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) antibodies were significantly lowered in the pleural plaque present group than in the absent group. Additionally, Scl-70, RNP, and Sjogren's syndrome type B (SS-B) antibodies were significantly lowered in the asbestosis present group. When stratifying variables with or without asbestosis, Scl-70, Smith, SS-B, and RNP antibodies decreased in female, crocidolite handling group, and higher estimated asbestos exposure level group.

Conclusions: Contrary to our expectations that autoantibody titers would be higher in groups with high asbestos exposure or in the asbestosis group, those with asbestosis showed lower titers. But as our research has some methodological limitations, the lowered titer of autoimmune antibody in our asbestos exposed subjects could not be simply interpreted as a lowered risk of autoimmune diseases. So careful interpreting should be taken when examine autoantibodies to screening or diagnose autoimmune diseases in people with asbestos exposure. In addition, it is necessary to establish relevance of asbestosis and autoantibodies through further studies of larger scale and higher confidence levels.

키워드

Asbestos; Asbestosis; Autoantibodies; Autoimmune diseases; Textiles

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