Lung disease is a persistent threat for workers throughout the United States. The mining industry is notorious for exposure to toxins that can result in disease; however there are other industries that can also pose a threat to workers. Long-term exposure can result in mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other lung diseases. New evidence indicates that workers who suffer from lung disease may also be at risk of contracting osteoporosis.
Occupational hazards range from immediate accidents and injuries, to disease and other ailments caused by long-term exposure. For victims and their families, the long-term consequences and costs can be overwhelming. In addition to medical expenses and the inability to work, many victims will never make a full recovery. Those who suffer from chronic or fatal lung diseases will not survive. Our Charleston workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in helping victims and their families collect financial recovery after a work accident, injury, or illness. We also stay abreast of work-related illness issues that affect the lives of our clients and their families.
While osteoporosis was once thought of as a "woman's disease" it has now been linked to men who have previously suffered from chronic lung-disease, including asthma. Osteoporosis, also known as "brittle-bone disease" can immobilize victims and leave them vulnerable to cracks, fractures, and breakage of the bone. According to research, men who suffer from chronic lung disease are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. The chance of contracting osteoporosis is higher for those who have been prescribed a common asthma medication.
Historically, the majority of studies linking lung disease to osteoporosis have focused on women. Researchers were interested in understanding this relationship when examining males who suffer from lung disease. Researchers looked at 130 men who had lung disease and compared them with 41 men who did not suffer from a chronic lung disease, finding a prevalence of osteoporosis among men with lung disease. The results were staggering, finding that men with lung disease had 5 times the chance of contracting osteoporosis.
Men who used asthma drugs called glucocorticoids had a risk 9 times higher than for men without lung disease. Researchers have pointed out that even though inhaled versions of the drug cause fewer side effects than oral prescriptions, both versions of the drug had the same likelihood of causing osteoporosis. Medical researchers are not certain why the risk of bone disease is related to lung disease, however, they suspect that it involves the formation of the bone and that reduction in oxygen depletes the bodies ability to build and maintain strength.
Any lung disease can leave a victim unable to work. For many suffers, the pain can be unbearable, and the disease, deadly. Osteoporosis, in turn, could result in broken bones which could cause loss of mobility and permanent damage. Workers who suffer from osteoporosis or lung disease may be entitled to workers' compensation. If you or someone you love has contracted a work-related illness, you should consult with an experienced advocate who can help to document your illness and file a timely claim.