Asbestosis life expectancy depends on whether or not the patient develops a more serious asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma. Asbestosis may go unnoticed for a long period of time as symptoms are not always present. It’s uncommon for patients diagnosed with asbestosis to die prematurely, but if the disease mutates into a cancer such as mesothelioma, a patient’s life expectancy is decreased dramatically.
A patient’s asbestosis life expectancy is related largely to the duration and amount of exposure to asbestos. In some patients the effect of the disease causes only mild symptoms, whereas in other patients the disease reduces the flow of oxygen which can be fatal in some cases.
Smoking Cessation. Smokers can expect a much shorter asbestosis life expectancy than non-smokers. Smoking adds to the risk of developing lung cancer or emphysema, which further complicates breathing.
Asthma. Patients with respiratory diseases such as asthma can expect a reduced life expectancy. Asthma, when combined with asbestosis causes the patient’s lungs to work harder to maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream.
Pneumonia. Pneumonia (fluid in the lungs) combined with asbestosis (damaged and scarred lung tissue) can be a deadly combination, drastically reducing asbestosis life expectancy. Some patients with asbestosis develop immune system problems over the years, making it difficult to fight off infections. For this reason, even a common cold can later develop into something more serious such as pneumonia.
Heart disease and diabetes. Asbestos victims with health problems such as heart disease or diabetes can expect to die sooner than those without these additional complications. Part of this goes back to how asbestosis affects the body – it essentially interferes with the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange in the lungs, which means the blood supply isn’t as oxygen rich as it should be. This interferes with healing and recovery in general, which can lead to complications of unrelated diseases.
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Cancer
Few patients actually die as a direct result of asbestosis despite the many different possible complications resulting from asbestosis that can somewhat shorten the patient’s life span. But asbestosis often develops into lung cancer or mesothelioma cancer, a virulent cancer that drastically shortens a patient’s life expectancy. The majority of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have a life expectancy of less than a year.
Once you have been diagnosed with asbestosis, see your doctor for an accurate analysis of your overall health. A physician can give you a realistic evaluation of your asbestosis life expectancy based on your symptoms.
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