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Am J Ind Med. 2001 Jul;40(1):98-106.

Availability and quality of industry and occupation information in the Massachusetts Cancer Registry.

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  • 1Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Bureau of Health Statistics Research and Evaluation, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-4619, USA.



Industry and occupation (I/O) data from state cancer registries can be useful in generating and evaluating hypotheses about occupational cancer risks. The quality of these data is uncertain.


We reviewed medical records on 1,020 cases from the Massachusetts Cancer Registry (MCR). We compared the presence and detail of I/O data from this dedicated record review (DRR) with routine reporting to the MCR in order to evaluate the potential to increase the availability of I/O data.


Compared to routine reporting, the DRR increased the percentage of codable I/O data from 63.6 to 80.4%. The DRR also provided more detail in existing codes in 15.4% of cases. Other sections of the medical record in addition to the face sheet and sections of the record from the period before cancer diagnosis were important sources of additional information. Duration and timing of the corresponding I/O information were rarely recorded.


The nearly one-third (32%) of records that had some improvement in I/O information with a dedicated review indicates considerable opportunity to improve the utility of this resource.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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