• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of amjphAmerican Journal of Public Health Web SiteAmerican Public Health Association Web SiteSubmissionsSubscriptionsAbout Us
Am J Public Health. 1995 April; 85(4): 535–540.
PMCID: PMC1615135

Mortality among Navajo uranium miners.


OBJECTIVES. To update mortality risks for Navajo uranium miners, a retrospective cohort mortality study was conducted of 757 Navajos from the cohort of Colorado Plateau uranium miners. METHODS. Vital status was followed from 1960 to 1990. Standardized mortality ratios were estimated, with combined New Mexico and Arizona non-White mortality rates used for comparison. Cox regression models were used to evaluate exposure-response relationships. RESULTS. Elevated standardized mortality ratios were found for lung cancer (3.3), tuberculosis (2.6), and pneumoconioses and other respiratory diseases (2.6). Lowered ratios were found for heart disease (0.6), circulatory disease (0.4), and liver cirrhosis (0.5). The estimated relative risk for a 5-year duration of exposure vs none was 3.7 for lung cancer, 2.1 for pneumoconioses and other respiratory diseases, and 2.0 for tuberculosis. The relative risk for lung cancer was 6.9 for the midrange of cumulative exposure to radon progeny compared with the least exposed. CONCLUSIONS. Findings were consistent with those from previous studies. Twenty-three years after their last exposure to radon progeny, these light-smoking Navajo miners continue to face excess mortality risks from lung cancer and pneumoconioses and other respiratory diseases.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Samet JM. Radon and lung cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1989 May 10;81(10):745–757. [PubMed]
  • Archer VE. Lung cancer risks of underground miners: cohort and case-control studies. Yale J Biol Med. 1988 May-Jun;61(3):183–193. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hodgson JT, Jones RD. Mortality of a cohort of tin miners 1941-86. Br J Ind Med. 1990 Oct;47(10):665–676. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Henshaw DL, Eatough JP, Richardson RB. Radon as a causative factor in induction of myeloid leukaemia and other cancers. Lancet. 1990 Apr 28;335(8696):1008–1012. [PubMed]
  • Morrison HI, Semenciw RM, Mao Y, Wigle DT. Cancer mortality among a group of fluorspar miners exposed to radon progeny. Am J Epidemiol. 1988 Dec;128(6):1266–1275. [PubMed]
  • Radford EP, Renard KG. Lung cancer in Swedish iron miners exposed to low doses of radon daughters. N Engl J Med. 1984 Jun 7;310(23):1485–1494. [PubMed]
  • Archer VE, Gillam JD, Wagoner JK. Respiratory disease mortality among uranium miners. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1976;271:280–293. [PubMed]
  • Hornung RW, Meinhardt TJ. Quantitative risk assessment of lung cancer in U.S. uranium miners. Health Phys. 1987 Apr;52(4):417–430. [PubMed]
  • Roscoe RJ, Steenland K, Halperin WE, Beaumont JJ, Waxweiler RJ. Lung cancer mortality among nonsmoking uranium miners exposed to radon daughters. JAMA. 1989 Aug 4;262(5):629–633. [PubMed]
  • Gottlieb LS, Husen LA. Lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners. Chest. 1982 Apr;81(4):449–452. [PubMed]
  • Samet JM, Kutvirt DM, Waxweiler RJ, Key CR. Uranium mining and lung cancer in Navajo men. N Engl J Med. 1984 Jun 7;310(23):1481–1484. [PubMed]
  • Butler C, Samet JM, Black WC, Key CR, Kutvirt DM. Histopathologic findings of lung cancer in Navajo men: relationship to U mining. Health Phys. 1986 Sep;51(3):365–368. [PubMed]
  • Waxweiler RJ, Beaumont JJ, Henry JA, Brown DP, Robinson CF, Ness GO, Wagoner JK, Lemen RA. A modified life-table analysis system for cohort studies. J Occup Med. 1983 Feb;25(2):115–124. [PubMed]
  • Steenland K, Beaumont J, Spaeth S, Brown D, Okun A, Jurcenko L, Ryan B, Phillips S, Roscoe R, Stayner L, et al. New developments in the Life Table Analysis System of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. J Occup Med. 1990 Nov;32(11):1091–1098. [PubMed]
  • Samet JM, Wiggins CL, Key CR, Becker TM. Mortality from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in New Mexico, 1958-82. Am J Public Health. 1988 Sep;78(9):1182–1186. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Becker TM, Wiggins CL, Key CR, Samet JM. Changing trends in mortality among New Mexico's American Indians, 1958-1987. Int J Epidemiol. 1992 Aug;21(4):690–700. [PubMed]

Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...