Pneumoconiosis incidence and prevalence among US Medicare beneficiaries, 1999–2019
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Pneumoconiosis incidence and prevalence among US Medicare beneficiaries, 1999–2019

Public Access Version Available on: October 01, 2024, 12:00 AM
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  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Ind Med
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    Pneumoconiosis is a group of occupational lung diseases caused by dust and fiber exposure. This study analyzes Medicare claims to estimate the burden of pneumoconiosis among fee-for-service (FFS; Medicare Parts A and B) Medicare beneficiaries during 1999–2019 in the United States.


    Claim and enrollment information from 81 million continuously enrolled FFS Medicare beneficiaries were analyzed. Beneficiaries with any pneumoconiosis and cause-specific pneumoconiosis (e.g., asbestosis, silicosis) were identified using three case definitions (broad, intermediate, and narrow) with varying diagnostic criteria based on claim International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-CM) diagnosis codes and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes. Results are presented as ranges of values for the three case definitions.


    The 21-year prevalence range for any pneumoconiosis was 345,383–677,361 (412–833 per 100,000 beneficiaries) using the three case definitions. The highest prevalence was among those ≥75 years of age, males, Whites, and North American Natives. Most claims (70.0%–72.5%) included an ICD-CM diagnosis code for asbestosis. The broad pneumoconiosis prevalence rate increased significantly (p < 0.001) during 2002–2009 by 3%–10% annually and declined significantly by 3%–5% annually starting in 2009. The average annual broad incidence rate declined significantly by 7% annually during 2009–2019.


    Despite the decline in rate for any pneumoconiosis among Medicare beneficiaries, which is primarily attributed to a decline in asbestosis, pneumoconiosis is prevalent among FFS Medicare beneficiaries.

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