Two main symptoms of black lung are shortness of breath and a chronic cough. Others include coughing up black mucus, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. Hemoptysis or coughing up blood occurs in the later stages of the illness. Black lung also leaves people susceptible to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, or hardening of the skin. Caplan’s syndrome, which causes swollen joints and nodules in the lungs, may occur in people with black lung disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
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