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J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Dec;44(12):1190-6.

Different measures of asbestos exposure in estimating risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma among construction workers.

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Uusimaa Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.


To analyze occupation, expert-evaluated cumulative exposure, and radiographic abnormalities as indicators of asbestos-related cancer risk we followed 16,696 male construction workers for cancer in 1990-2000. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIR) in comparison to the Finnish population and relative risks (RR) in a multivariate analysis in comparison to the internal low-exposure category of each indicator. Overall, the risk was increased for mesothelioma (SIR 2.0, 95% CI = 1.0-3.3), but not for lung cancer (SIR 1.1, 95% CI = 0.9-1.2). Radiographic lung fibrosis indicated a 2-fold and a high value of the exposure index a 3-fold RR of lung cancer, while there was no risk among those with pleural plaques. The risk of lung cancer was the highest in insulators (RR 3.7, 95% CI = 1.4-9.9). Occupation, expert-evaluated cumulative exposure, and lung fibrosis are useful indicators of lung cancer risk among construction workers.

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