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This autopsy-based study defined the prevalence and age distribution of peripheral pulmonary hamartomas in 47635 southern African miners examined between 1975 and 1988. The prevalence rate for white miners was 7,5/1000 and for black miners 1,1/1 000. When directly standardised to the white men in the general population. the rates for white and black miners were 7,2 and 5,5/1 000, respectively. The prevalence of peripheral pulmonary hamartomas in both groups increased with age, from 0,8/1000 in the third decade to 12,0/1000 in the eighth decade. The study showed a much higher prevalence of peripheral pulmonary hamartomas for whites than previously reported. Furthermore, it documented the occurrence of these benign lung tumours in blacks, a fact that has previously been questioned. There appeared to be no significant difference in prevalence and age distribution between white and black miners, although the database for the black group was deficient for the later decades of life.