Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 4 > Exposure to Beryllium and Occurrence of Lung Cancer: Finding...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31819968f3
Original Articles

Exposure to Beryllium and Occurrence of Lung Cancer: Findings From a Cox Proportional Hazards Analysis of Data From a Retrospective Cohort Mortality Study

Levy, Paul S. ScD; Roth, H Daniel PhD; Deubner, David C. MD, MPH

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Abstract

Objective: The objective was to assess highly confounded patterns in a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) analysis of lung cancer in beryllium worker cohorts.

Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards single- and multi-variate models to assess confounding and the SMR patterns.

Results: We confirmed the lack of association of lung cancer with time worked. We could not confirm the original study's finding of lung cancer highly associated with earlier plants and or with workers hired in the 1940s compared to the 1950s. The pattern of higher rates of lung cancer with increasing latency was attenuated when covariates were added to the model. We could not exclude that the lower SMR and hazard ratios for workers hired in the 1960s might be related to assumed lower beryllium exposures.

Conclusion: The patterns observed provide little support for an association of lung cancer with beryllium work factors. This result is likely due to the absence in the original study of a significant overall excess of lung cancer after smoking adjustment.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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