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Age specific interactions between smoking and radon among United States uranium miners.
Occup Environ Med 1994 Mar; 51(3):192-194
The Hornung and Meinhardt analyses was reexamined to determine age specific interactions between smoking and radon (10043922) exposures in uranium miners working in the United States. Rates for lung cancer among never smoking United States veterans (R0), for ever smoking United States veterans (R1), for never smoking miners exposed to radon (R2), and for ever smoking miners (R12) were compared. The predicted death rates from lung cancer for the R12 category were compared under the additive and multiplicative models. The observed rates were intermediate between those of these two models. The multiplicative model fit the data more closely than the additive at the youngest and oldest age categories. The author notes that the data are limited by small numbers and lack of quantitative data on smoking and exposure to radon daughters for the development of the rate ratios. In this study there were only 14 deaths due to lung cancer among miners who never smoked. The author suggests that perhaps an even greater difficulty or limitation is the lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms affecting rates at a biological level in that the mechanism by which either smoking or radon cause lung cancer is not totally clear.
NIOSH-Author; Cancer-rates; Risk-factors; Epidemiology; Age-factors; Mining-industry; Underground-miners; Uranium-mining; Carcinogens; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cigarette-smoking; Lung-cancer
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 25, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division