Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 12 > Cumulative Sensitization and Disease in a Beryllium Oxide Ce...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818def24
Original Articles

Cumulative Sensitization and Disease in a Beryllium Oxide Ceramics Worker Cohort

Schuler, Christine R. PhD; Kitt, Margaret M. MD, MPH; Henneberger, Paul K. MPH, ScD; Deubner, David C. MD, MPH; Kreiss, Kathleen MD

Continued Medical Education
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Objective: We followed a cohort of 136 beryllium oxide ceramics workers from 1992 to 2003, including those who left employment, for beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease (CBD).

Methods: We invited the cohort’s participation in current worker surveys in 1992, 1998, 2000, and 2002–2003, and in former worker surveys in 2000–2001 and 2003. We calculated 11-year cumulative incidences (after 1992 initial survey) of sensitization and CBD, both crude and corrected for interval censoring; and period prevalences (including 1992 findings), crude and corrected.

Results: In 1992, point prevalences were 6% sensitized and 4% CBD. We obtained follow-up on 83% of 128 not sensitized in 1992. Crude cumulative incidences for sensitization and CBD were 13% and 9%, respectively; corrected were 15% and 11%. Crude period prevalences for sensitization and CBD were 16% and 11%, respectively; corrected were 20% and 14%. Corrected period prevalences for pre-1992 machining work were 30% and 20%.

Conclusions: With repeated testing over 11 years, total sensitization and CBD in this cohort were triple initial 1992 survey results.

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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