An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters

J. J. Beaumont, G. S T Chu, J. R. Jones, Marc B Schenker, J. A. Singleton, L. G. Piantanida, M. Reiterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that firefighter exposures may increase cancer risk, mortality rates were calculated for 3,066 San Francisco Fire Department firefighters employed between 1940 and 1970. Vital status was ascertained through 1982, and observed and expected rates, rate ratios (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed using United States death rates for comparison. The total number deceased (1,186) was less than expected and there were fewer cancer deaths than expected. However, there were significant excess numbers of deaths from esophageal cancer (12 observed, 6 expected), cirrhosis and other liver diseases (59 observed, 26 expected), and accidental falls (21 observed, 11 expected). There were 24 line-of-duty deaths, which were primarily due to vehicular injury, falls, and asphyxiation. Heart disease and respiratory disease deaths occurred significantly less often than expected. It was concluded that the increased risks of death from esophageal cancer and cirrhosis and other liver diseases may have been due to firefighter exposures, alcohol consumption, or interaction between alcohol and exposures. Because this was an older cohort and firefighter exposures have changed due to the increasing use of synthetic materials, it is recommended that the effects of modern-day exposures be further studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume19
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

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Firefighters
San Francisco
Epidemiologic Studies
Mortality
Neoplasms
Esophageal Neoplasms
Liver Diseases
Fibrosis
Accidental Falls
Asphyxia
Alcohol Drinking
Heart Diseases
Alcohols
Confidence Intervals
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Beaumont, J. J., Chu, G. S. T., Jones, J. R., Schenker, M. B., Singleton, J. A., Piantanida, L. G., & Reiterman, M. (1991). An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 19(3), 357-372.

An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters. / Beaumont, J. J.; Chu, G. S T; Jones, J. R.; Schenker, Marc B; Singleton, J. A.; Piantanida, L. G.; Reiterman, M.

In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1991, p. 357-372.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beaumont, JJ, Chu, GST, Jones, JR, Schenker, MB, Singleton, JA, Piantanida, LG & Reiterman, M 1991, 'An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters', American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 357-372.
Beaumont, J. J. ; Chu, G. S T ; Jones, J. R. ; Schenker, Marc B ; Singleton, J. A. ; Piantanida, L. G. ; Reiterman, M. / An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters. In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 1991 ; Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 357-372.
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