Objective: To examine the relationship between cumulative fiber exposure (CFE) and mortality in a retrospective cohort study of vermiculite workers exposed to Libby amphibole (n = 1862).
Methods: Extended Cox regression was used to estimate the hazards associated with CFE as a time-dependent covariate of multiple-cause mortality.
Results: The Cox models for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and non-malignant respiratory disease were significant with rate ratios that increased monotonically with CFE. The model for deaths due to cardiovascular disease was also significant (rate ratio for CFE ≥44.0 f/cc-y vs <1.4 f/cc-y was 1.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.1 to 2.0).
Conclusions: By using a within-cohort comparison, the results demonstrate a clear exposure-response relationship between CFE and mortality from asbestos-related causes. The finding of an association between CFE and cardiovascular mortality suggests persons exposed to Libby amphibole should be monitored for this outcome.