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A 50-Year Mortality Follow-up of a Large Cohort of Oil Refinery Workers in Texas

Satin, Kenneth P. DrPH; Wong, Otto ScD; Yuan, Leslie A. MPH; Bailey, William J. MPH; Newton, Kimberlyw L. MA; Wen, Chi-Pang MD; Swencicki, Robert E. MD*

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 1996 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p 492-506
Original Article

To investigate further the possible role of occupational exposures on mortality, an update of a large Texas petroleum refinery cohort was undertaken. Between 1937 and 1987, 6799 deaths were identified among 17,844 employees. Relative to the general population of Texas, the overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) showed a statistically significant deficit, as did nine other cause-of-death categories. Statistically significant mortality excesses were found for bone cancer (SMR = 207.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 110.6 to 355.3), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) (SMR = 259.6; 95% CI, 112.1 to 511.5), and benign/unspecified neoplasms (SMR = 194.9; 95% CI, 129.5 to 281.7). However, none of these diseases demonstrated an exposure-response relationship with length of employment. Subcohort mortality analyses by sex and race groups, length of employment, interval since hire, period of hire, and pay status were also performed. Overall, the update findings do not indicate that any excess mortality occurred as a result of employment at the refinery.

From the Division of Health and Medical Services (Dr Satin, Ms Yuan, Mr Bailey, Ms Newton, and Dr Swencicki), the Chevron Corporation, San Francisco, Calif., and Houston, Tex. (Dr Wen); and Applied Health Sciences, Inc, San Mateo, Calif. (Dr Wong).

* Dr Swencicki died unexpectedly on July 16, 1995, and will be missed.

Address correspondence to: Kenneth P. Satin, DrPH, Coordinator, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Chevron Corporation, 575 Market St, Rm 1680, San Francisco, CA 94105.

1076-2752/96/3805-0492$3.00/0

© Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.