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The Identification of Pneumoconiosis From Hospital Discharge Data

Stefan S. Winkler, MD; William S. Middleton; Daniel S. Winkler
JAMA. 1990;263(22):3025. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440220047026.
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To the Editor.—  The use of hospital discharge summaries by Valiente and Rosenman1 to identify cases of silicosis recalls a preliminary study we carried out in 1987. In that study, Mr D. S. Winkler wanted to determine the usefulness of hospital discharge diagnoses as a tool to find cases of pneumoconiosis. The yield was 29 cases for the previous 5 years for the William S. Middleton Veterans Administration Hospital and 40 cases for a 10-year period at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison.This seemed to be less than the expected incidence to Dr S. S. Winkler, who reads many of the chest roentgenograms at the Veterans Administration hospital. During a 3-month period (March 12, 1987, through June 12, 1987), all patients at the Veterans Administration hospital with chest roentgenograms that were suggestive of pneumoconiosis were listed in a notebook kept in the roentgenogram reading room. Confirmation was


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