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Med Lav. 1990 Nov-Dec;81(6):499-505.

Mortality study of Canadian male farm operators: cancer mortality and agricultural practices in Saskatchewan.

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  • 1Health Protection Branch, Health and Welfare Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.


The present investigation involved an analysis of approximately 70,000 male Saskatchewan farm operators, a subset of the 365,000 Canadian farm operators to be investigated in the Canadian Farm Operator Mortality Study. The results of the Saskatchewan analysis indicate that during the interval studied, overall mortality among Saskatchewan farmers was 25% lower than that for all Saskatchewan men, and that, during the same time interval, the risk of death from all types of cancer was also about 25% lower among Saskatchewan farmers than to all Saskatchewan men. Although the present study indicates that overall mortality of death from cancer was 25% lower among Saskatchewan male farmers, there was a relationship between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma mortality and acres sprayed for weeds; a similar risk relationship between expenditures on fuel oil and risk of death from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was also evident. The magnitude of risk for Saskatchewan farmers is probably greater than that reflected in the estimates in this study, due to the likelihood of misclassification of exposure. There is a particular need for further studies in this area to improve the quantification of farming-related exposures, and to study the exposure history of individuals who develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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