Surveillance of australian workplace based respiratory events (sabre): A pilot study

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Introduction: The Surveillance of Work related Occupational Respiratory Disease program has provided valuable new information about the incidence and causes of occupational lung diseases in the UK. Apart from some disease specific notification systems for mesothelioma and dust diseases, no comparable surveillance has been undertaken in Australia. Aim: To establish a pilot notification scheme involving respiratory and occupational physicians to better determine the true incidence of work related respiratory disease and inhalational injury in Victoria. Methods: A brief report form was mailed each month to 46 full members of the TSANZ and 26 fellows of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine resident in Victoria. Results: A total of 703 forms were returned during the first 11 months of the pilot scheme. The mean (SD) age of the 172 patients notified was 52.1 (16.3) years. There were 145 (86%) males and 23 females. There were 4 cases of allergic alveolitis, 58 of asthma, 14 of bronchitis, 19 of inhalation injury, 16 of pneumoconiosis,13 of mesothelioma, 47 of nonmalignant pleural disease (36 predominantly plaques and 11 diffuse),1 occupational lung cancer, 2 infectious diseases and 14 with another diagnosis. Conclusions: This pilot study has demonstrated the feasibility of voluntary reporting by respiratory and occupational physicians. The most commonly reported conditions are occupational asthma and nonmalignant pleural disease. Further studies will be undertaken to validate these diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A50
Number of pages1
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999


  • Epidemiology
  • Occupational lung disease

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