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Mortality from six work-related cancers among African Americans and Latinos.
Am J Ind Med 2000 Nov; 38(5):565-575
BACKGROUND: Ethnic minorities have been omitted from many occupational health studies, despite their substantial contributions to the labor force and documented cases of high exposures in some settings. To describe the occurrence of potentially work-related cancers among African American and Latino Workers, we conducted an epidemiologic study based on death certificate data. METHODS: Data were obtained from 21 states during 1985-1992. Directly adjusted proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) and standardized mortality rate ratios (SRRs) for ages 20-64 years were computed for cancers of the lung, nasal cavity, pleura, and peritoneum, malignant melanoma and leukemia using the mortality data and population counts from the 1990 census. RESULTS: Proportionate mortality was generally low for both groups, but African Americans had higher than expected mortality rates for leukemia and cancers of the lung, nasal cavity, and peritoneum. Industry-specific analyses indicate excess leukemia among African American men in the rubber industry (PMR 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29 - 3.35), Latino men in textile (PMR 2. 31, 95% CI 0.81 - 5.13) and wood industries (PMR 2.03, 95% CI 0.81 - 5.13), and Latino women in the chemical industry (PMR 2.18, 95% CI 0.59 - 8.10), among other findings. Excess cancer of the pleura and peritoneum was observed among workers with a variety of usual occupations, consistent with widespread exposure to asbestos. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the utility of surveillance data bases for generating basic epidemiologic information on historically neglected workers. Leads about specific workplace exposure can be followed up in more detailed studies.
Cancer-rates; Cancer; Mortality-rates; Racial-factors; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Mortality-data; Surveillance-programs
Dana Loomis, Department of Epidemiology, CB 7400 UNC-CH, North Carolina 27599-7400
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Chapel Hill, North Carolina