Race-specific cancer mortality in US firefighters: 1984-1993

Fangchao Ma, David J. Lee, Lora E Fleming, Mustafa Dosemeci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

A mortality odds ratio (MOR) study of race-specific cancer risk among firefighters was conducted using 1984-1993 death certificate data from 24 states. The Bureau of the Census Index of Industries Occupations was used to code occupation on death certificates. The overall cancer mortality was slightly elevated among white firefighters (MOR = 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1-1.2), but the increase in overall cancer mortality among black firefighters was not significant (MOR = 1.2; 95% CI = 0.9-1.5). Only prostate cancer risk was elevated in both groups (whites: MOR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0-1.3; blacks: MOR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.2-3.2). Among white firefighters, elevated site-specific cancer mortality risks were found for the following cancer sites: lip (MOR = 5.9; 95% CI = 1.9-18.3), pancreas (MOR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0-1.5), soft tissue sarcoma (MOR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.0-2.7), melanoma (MOR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.0-1.9), kidney and renal pelvis (MOR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.0- 1.7), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (MOR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.1-1.7), and Hodgkin's disease (MOR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.4-4.1). We also observed a slightly elevated risk for bronchus and lung cancer (MOR = 1.1; 95% CI = 1.0-1.2). Among black firefighters, excess risks were found for cancers of the brain and central nervous system (MOR = 6.9; 95% CI = 3.0-16.0), colon (MOR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.1-4.0), and nasopharynx (MOR = 7.6; 95% CI = 1.3-46.4). Future studies are needed to confirm the existence of differential cancer mortality risks among firefighters of different race/ethnic subpopulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1138
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume40
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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