Objective: To evaluate mortality rates among a cohort of jet engine manufacturing workers.
Methods: Subjects were 222,123 workers employed from 1952 to 2001. Vital status was determined through 2004 for 99% of subjects and cause of death for 95% of 68,317 deaths. We computed standardized mortality ratios and modeled internal cohort rates.
Results: Mortality excesses reported initially no longer met the criteria for further investigation. We found two chronic obstructive pulmonary disease–related mortality excesses that met the criteria in two of eight study plants.
Conclusions: At the total cohort level, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease–related categories were not related to any factors or occupational exposures considered. A full evaluation of these excesses was limited by lack of data on smoking history. Occupational exposures received outside of work or uncontrolled positive confounding by smoking cannot be ruled out as reasons for these excesses.