Rates and costs of respiratory illness in coal mining: a cross-industry comparative analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To estimate the prevalence and costs of respiratory illness for workers in coal mining, compared with other US industries.


Using 5 years of insurance claims data for an annual average of 96,240 adult males, we model the probability and costs of respiratory illness as a function of workers' industry and other factors.


Controlling for nonindustry factors, workers in coal mining had significantly higher rates of respiratory illness claims (by 2.1% to 3.3% points) compared with other mining, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. For coal mining workers with respiratory illness, annual medical care costs for these claims were also significantly higher (by $111 to $289). Surprisingly, drug costs were mostly lower (by $17 to $268).


Our findings underscore the continued importance and potential cost effectiveness of measures to protect miners from harmful occupational exposures, particularly to coal dust.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Van Houtven, G; Reed, WR; Biddle, EA; Volkwein, JC; Clayton, L; Finkelstein, E

Published Date

  • June 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 610 - 617

PubMed ID

  • 20523242

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1536-5948

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1076-2752

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/jom.0b013e3181de47e3


  • eng