This retrospective cohort study examines disability among 3,686 men and 75 women who were employed as chemists in 1959 and who were followed through 1977. Overall, the chemists experienced fewer absences of eight or more consecutive days than expected on the basis of the experience of other salaried employees of the chemical company. Among the men, fewer claims than expected were observed for absences due to benign and unspecified neoplasia, heart disease, and peptic ulcer, and to diseases of the urinary system, bones and joints, and skin. Also, the chemists had lower than expected incidence rates of first myocardial infarction (90 observed, 149.8 expected). The deficits may be attributable to exposure misclassification or to confounding by smoking or socioeconomic status. A slight excess was seen for absences due to mental disorders.
©1981 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine