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Long-Term Health Experience of Jet Engine Manufacturing Workers: VIII. Glioblastoma Incidence in Relation to Workplace Experiences With Parts and Processes

Marsh, Gary M. PhD; Youk, Ada O. PhD; Buchanich, Jeanine M. PhD; Downing, Sarah BS; Kennedy, Kathleen J. MS; Esmen, Nurtan A. PhD; Hancock, Roger P. MCE; Lacey, Steven E. PhD; Pierce, Jennifer S. PhD; Fleissner, Mary Lou DrPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 690–708
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182871583
Original Articles

Objective: To determine whether glioblastoma (GB) incidence rates among jet engine manufacturing workers were associated with workplace experiences with specific parts produced and processes performed.

Methods: Subjects were 210,784 workers employed between 1952 and 2001. We conducted nested case-control and cohort incidence studies with focus on 277 GB cases. We estimated time experienced with 16 part families, 4 process categories, and 32 concurrent part-process combinations with 20 or more GB cases.

Results: In both the cohort and case-control studies, none of the part families, process categories, or both considered was associated with increased GB risk.

Conclusions: If not due to chance alone, the not statistically significantly elevated GB rates in the North Haven plant may reflect external occupational factors or nonoccupational factors unmeasured in the current evaluation.

From the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Drs Marsh, Youk, and Buchanich and Ms Downing), Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa; Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (Ms Kennedy, Dr Esmen, and Mr Hancock), School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago; Department of Public Health (Dr Lacey), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; ChemRisk, LLC (Dr Pierce), Chicago, Ill; and Division of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health (Dr Fleissner), formerly with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford.

Address correspondence to: Gary M. Marsh, PhD, Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (

The University of Pittsburgh and the University of Illinois at Chicago received funding from Pratt & Whitney for this research, but the design, conduct, analysis, and conclusions are those of the authors.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine