Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Risk factors associated with asbestos-related diseases: a community-based case–control study

Magdalena-Isabel Rosell-Murphy1*, Rafael Abós-Herràndiz2, Josep Tarrés Olivella3, Constança Alberti-Casas4, Isabel García Allas5, Xavier Martinez Artés1, Ilona Krier Günther2, Isidre Grimau Malet6, Ramon Orriols Martínez7 and Jaume Canela-Soler89

Author Affiliations

1 Primary Care Team Serraparera, Catalan Institute of Health, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain

2 Primary Care Team Pinetons, Catalan Institute of Health, Ripollet, Spain

3 Primary Care Team Canaletes, Catalan Institute of Health, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain

4 ICAM, Department of Health Evaluation, Barcelona, Spain

5 Primary Care Team Rosa dels Vents, Catalan Institute of Health, Barberà del Vallès, Spain

6 Palliative Care Unit, Consorci Hospitalari Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Spain

7 Respiratory Medicine Department, University Hospital Vall d'Hebron - CIBER Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES), Catalan Institute of Health, Barcelona, Spain

8 Public Health Department, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

9 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:723  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-723

Published: 6 August 2013



Asbestos is a first level carcinogen. However, few epidemiological studies analyse the risk and protective factors associated with asbestos-related diseases and follow up these conditions in the general population. Pleural mesothelioma, caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres at work, at home or in the environment, is the most representative asbestos-related disease.

The objectives of this study are to analyse the risk and protective factors associated with asbestos-related diseases and to investigate the incidence of new clinical manifestations in patients already diagnosed with some form of ARD.


We have designed a matched case–control study with follow up of both cohorts from a population of a health district of the Barcelona province that has been exposed to asbestos for a period of 90 years.


A better understanding of asbestos-related diseases should improve i) the clinical and epidemiological follow up of patients with this condition; ii) the design of new treatment strategies; iii) and the development of preventive activities. At the end of the study, the two cohorts created in this study (affected cases and healthy controls) will constitute the basis for future research.

Asbestos-related diseases; Primary health care; Mesothelioma; Case–control study