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Different Measures of Asbestos Exposure in Estimating Risk of Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Among Construction Workers

Koskinen, Kari MD; Pukkala, Eero PhD; Martikainen, Rami MSc; Reijula, Kari MD; Karjalainen, Antti MD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
Original Articles
Abstract

To analyze occupation, expert-evaluated cumulative exposure, and radiographic abnormalities as indicators of asbestos-related cancer risk we followed 16,696 male construction workers for cancer in 1990–2000. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIR) in comparison to the Finnish population and relative risks (RR) in a multivariate analysis in comparison to the internal low-exposure category of each indicator. Overall, the risk was increased for mesothelioma (SIR 2.0, 95% CI = 1.0–3.3), but not for lung cancer (SIR 1.1, 95% CI = 0.9–1.2). Radiographic lung fibrosis indicated a 2-fold and a high value of the exposure index a 3-fold RR of lung cancer, while there was no risk among those with pleural plaques. The risk of lung cancer was the highest in insulators (RR 3.7, 95% CI = 1.4–9.9). Occupation, expert-evaluated cumulative exposure, and lung fibrosis are useful indicators of lung cancer risk among construction workers

Author Information

From the Uusimaa Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Koskinen, Dr Reijula); the Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Pukkala); and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Martikainen, Dr Karjalainen).

Address correspondence to: Dr Antti Karjalainen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 aA, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland; e-mail: antti.karjalainen@ttl.fi.

Copyright © by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

©2002The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine