Occupational Mortality from Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus in the United States During 1991–1996
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- Cucino, C. & Sonnenberg, A. Dig Dis Sci (2002) 47: 568. doi:10.1023/A:1017968103311
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The epidemiology of esophageal squamous cell cancer has remained poorly understood. The occupational distribution of this cancer may provide clues about its yet unknown etiology. Data files from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the United States offer a unique source to study causes of death, broken down by occupation and industry. The number of deaths from esophageal cancer was retrieved from the computerized US vital statistics. Mortality by occupation or industry was expressed as standardized proportional mortality ratio (PMR), adjusted by age, gender, and ethnicity. Between 1991 and 1996, 63,717 subjects died from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Mortality was particularly high among nonwhites and men. The industrial and the occupational distributions shared a similar pattern. Mortality from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma occurred more frequently among subjects exposed to silica dust, such as brickmasons and stonemasons, concrete and terrazzo finishers, roofers, and construction laborers. It was also high in such industries as unspecified machinery or manufacturing and such occupations as unspecified material handlers, janitors, or cleaners. It was low in industries and occupations associated with agriculture, clergy, work in religious organizations, and textiles. In conclusion, mortality from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma appeared to be low in occupations associated with less consumption of alcohol and tobacco. It was high among occupations potentially associated with exposure to silica dust and chemical solvents or detergents.