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Retrospective Cohort Mortality Study of Goldminers.
NIOSH 1982 Apr:294-325
An epidemiologic study was performed as a retrospective cohort mortality analysis of all Homestake gold mine workers (3144 individuals) employed full time underground in the mining department for at least 1 year between 1940 and 1964. Any miners having experience in uranium mining were excluded from this study. The members of the cohort were divided into six job classifications. Of this group, 827 had died; death certificates were not available for 94. Analysis of the data indicated statistically significant increases in deaths from tuberculosis (four times the expected number); respiratory disease other than influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis (three times the expected number with a 30 year latency period); and accidents other than transportation, poisoning, and falls. The risk for all cancers was close to that expected. The risk from heart disease and stroke was slightly lower than that expected which may be due to the healthy worker effect. When examining the mortality by cancer in site specific analyses it was learned that cancer of the peritoneum, cancer of unspecified digestive organs, and cancer of the respiratory system other than the lung were higher than anticipated. Elevated risks for prostatic cancer and hematopoietic cancer were also noted. The increased mortality from tuberculosis included occupational lung diseases such as silicotuberculosis and was related to past employment underground at the gold mine. A slight increased risk of lung cancer was noted for individuals having between 10 and 20 years duration of underground work. Increased risk for leukemia and aleukemia was noted after 10 years of employment.
NIOSH-Author; Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Mine-workers; Epidemiology; Mortality-surveys; Cancer-rates; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury; Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Proceedings of the Second NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, September 9-11, 1981, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division