Document Detail

An alternate characterization of hazard in occupational epidemiology: years of life lost per years worked.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12111685     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and other measures of relative risk by themselves may not suffice as descriptors of occupational hazards for many audiences including decision-makers and those at direct risk from hazardous work. To explore other approaches, we calculated excess years of potential life lost and excess lifetime risk for both lung diseases and fatal injuries in a cohort of uranium miners with historical records of exposure to radon gas. METHODS: We used relatively simple life table (SMR) methods and also analyzed lung cancer mortality with Poisson regression methods permitting control for smoking. RESULTS: Among uranium miners hired after 1950, whose all-cause SMR was 1.5, 28 percent would experience premature death from lung diseases or injury in a lifetime of uranium mining. On average, each miner lost 1.5 yr of potential life due to mining-related lung cancer, or almost 3 months of life for each year employed in uranium mining. As a consequence of all excess lung disease and injury risks combined, a year of mining was associated with 5.9 months loss of potential life. For each year actually working underground, miners lost more than 8 months of potential life. When controlled for smoking (and healthy worker effect) with Poisson regression, the estimates for radon-related lung cancer effects were slightly larger. Although chronic disease deaths dominated in excess years of life lost (due to radon, silica and possibly other exposures), more years were lost on average per individual injury death (38 yr), than per excess lung cancer (20 yr) or other lung disease death (18 yr). Fatal-injury dominated the potential years of life lost up to about age 40. CONCLUSIONS: Years of life lost per years employed provides another, more intuitive summary of occupational mortality risk.
Robert M Park; A John Bailer; Leslie T Stayner; William Halperin; Stephen J Gilbert
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of industrial medicine     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0271-3586     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Ind. Med.     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-11     Completed Date:  2002-09-12     Revised Date:  2006-02-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8101110     Medline TA:  Am J Ind Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
Risk Evaluation Branch, Education and Information Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents, Occupational
Aged, 80 and over
Cohort Studies
Colorado / epidemiology
Life Expectancy*
Life Tables
Lung Neoplasms / etiology*,  mortality*
Middle Aged
Occupational Exposure*
Poisson Distribution
Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
Regression Analysis
Time Factors
Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
Reg. No./Substance:
10043-92-2/Radon; 7440-61-1/Uranium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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