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J Occup Environ Med. 1997 Jul;39(7):633-8.

Cancer risk and mortality patterns among silicotic men in Sweden and Denmark.

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md. 20892-7368, USA.


Data from nationwide registry-based cohorts of patients hospitalized for silicosis in Sweden from 1965 to 1983 and Denmark from 1977 to 1989 were linked to national cancer registries in both countries and to mortality data in Sweden to evaluate the risk of cancer and other disorders among hospitalized silicotic patients. The overall cancer standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 1.7) in Sweden and 1.7 (95% CI, 1.2 to 2.3) in Denmark, primarily because of elevations in primary lung cancer in both Sweden (SIR, 3.1; CI, 2.1 to 4.2) and Denmark (SIR, 2.9; CI, 1.5 to 5.2). For Sweden, the all-causes standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 2.0 (1.9 to 2.2). The SMR for all malignancies was 1.5 (1.2 to 1.7), primarily because of excesses of lung cancer (SMR, 2.9; CI, 2.1 to 3.9). The significant increase in mortality for all infectious and parasitic conditions (SMR, 11.2) was primarily due to tuberculosis (SMR, 21.8). Significant excesses in mortality from silicosis (SMR, 523), bronchitis (SMR, 2.6) and emphysema (SMR, 6.7) contributed to the elevation in nonmalignant respiratory deaths (SMR, 8.8), whereas excess mortality from musculoskeletal disorders (SMR, 5.9) was due to six deaths from autoimmune diseases. Despite limitations of the available data, our findings are consistent with previous reports indicating that silicotic patients are at elevated risk of lung cancer, nonmalignant respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, and certain autoimmune disorders.

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