Cause-specific mortality in the unionized U.S. trucking industry
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CitationLaden, Francine, Jaime E. Hart, Thomas J. Smith, Mary E. Davis, and Eric Garshick. 2007. Cause-specific mortality in the unionized U.S. trucking industry. Environmental Health Perspectives 115(8): 1192-1196.
AbstractBackground: Occupational and population-based studies have related exposure to fine particulate air pollution, and specifically particulate matter from vehicle exhausts, to cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Objectives: We have established a large retrospective cohort to assess mortality in the unionized U.S. trucking industry. To provide insight into mortality patterns associated with job-specific exposures, we examined rates of cause-specific mortality compared with the general U.S. population. Methods: We used records from four national trucking companies to identify 54,319 male employees employed in 1985. Cause-specific mortality was assessed through 2000 using the National Death Index. Expected numbers of all and cause-specific deaths were calculated stratifying by race, 10-year age group, and calendar period using U.S. national reference rates. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the entire cohort and by job title. Results: As expected in a working population, we found a deficit in overall and all-cancer mortality, likely due to the healthy worker effect. In contrast, compared with the general U.S. population, we observed elevated rates for lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, and transport-related accidents. Lung cancer rates were elevated among all drivers (SMR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02–1.19) and dockworkers (SMR = 1.10; 95% CI, 0.94–1.30); ischemic heart disease was also elevated among these groups of workers [drivers, SMR = 1.49 (95% CI, 1.40–1.59); dockworkers, SMR = 1.32 (95% CI, 1.15–1.52)], as well as among shop workers (SMR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.05–1.72). Conclusions: In this detailed assessment of specific job categories in the U.S. trucking industry, we found an excess of mortality due to lung cancer and ischemic heart disease, particularly among drivers.
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