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Retrospective evaluation of occupational exposures in cancer epidemiology: a European concerted action of research.

Hemon D; Bouyer J; Berrino F; Brochard P; Glass DC; Goldberg M; Kromhout H; Lynge E; Pannett B; Segnan N; Smit HA
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1991 Jun; 6(6):541-546
The European Concerted Action of Research for improving retrospective occupational exposure assessments in cancer epidemiology was presented. Three research areas were addressed: elaboration of job exposure matrices (JEMs), methods to build ad-hoc and general questionnaires and statistical issues. Recommendations for JEMs included comparison of their performance with other methods (including other JEMs) on the same data sets; taking into account detailed and complete job history; accounting for exposure variables such as level, probability, duration and latency periods; proposal of improved matrices for general population and specific industries using large data sets comprising case by case expert evaluations; and use of standardized codes for jobs, industrial activities and exposures. Recommendations for questionnaires included elaboration of ad-hoc questionnaires for some specific exposures; elaboration of standardized coding methods for expert evaluation of information from questionnaires; performance comparison with JEMs on the same data sets; and elaboration of quality control procedures to be used in the frame of case referent studies in the general population. Statistical evaluations of performance indices could include evaluation of intrinsic quality of the measurement method, comparison between methods using the same data set and evaluation of the capacity of a method to detect known relationships. Recommended developments for statistical analyses of epidemiologic data included indices of cumulative exposure and use of probability of exposure. The authors conclude that the growth of occupational epidemiology underlines the necessity of designing robust standardized methods.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-91-38661; Humans; Occupational-health; Risk-analysis; Exposure-levels; Occupational-exposure; Cancer-rates; Occupational-diseases; Statistical-analysis; Job-analysis; Analytical-methods
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division