Quantification of Risk in Defined Populations.
NIOSH 1985 May:8 pages
The risk of developing a chronic affliction such as cancer as a result of an exposure to a toxic chemical several years earlier was discussed. According to the author, risk assessments for this type of exposure are best measured in occupationally defined populations because of employment and public records. One problem with this approach is that heavy exposures may not be easily quantified, complicating extrapolation to lower exposures. However, possible health effects may be more easily detected. If a computerized work history file is not available in the facilities where the study is conducted, a case control study may be set up within a cohort study of all the workers in a facility. Study results should be interpreted according to the guidelines established by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. These state that if certain quality requirements of a study have been fulfilled, there should be a statistically significant excess of cancer incidences that varies according to the conditions of exposure. The same types of variation should be observed in different independent studies. It is pointed out that although different studies might be labeled contradictory, the difference between them may be caused by the interpretation of statistical significance. The author concludes that in order to get an impression of all of the evidence gathered in small studies, data may under certain circumstances be pooled and treated together.
Epidemiology; Cancer-rates; Risk-analysis; Biostatistics; Humans; Carcinogenicity; Occupational-hazards;
Proceedings of a Symposium on Epidemiology and Health Risk Assessment, Columbia, Maryland, May 14-16, 1985, Centers for Disease Control/NIOSH, 8 pages, 6 references