Lung cancer risk among construction workers in California, 1988-2007

Geoffrey M. Calvert, Sara Luckhaupt, Soo Jeong Lee, Rosemary D Cress, Pam Schumacher, Rui Shen, Sangwoo Tak, Dennis Deapen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Although lung cancer risks can vary by race/ethnicity and by construction occupation, these risks have not been examined extensively. Methods: This study analyzed 110,937 lung cancer cases identified from the California Cancer Registry between 1988 and 2007. Mean age at diagnosis, proportion diagnosed at an advanced stage, and proportion with 3-year survival were calculated for lung cancer cases employed in the construction industry. Case-control methodology was also used to assess the risk of lung cancer. Morbidity odds ratios (MORs) were estimated by conditional logistic regression. Results: Construction workers were found to have a significantly elevated risk for all lung cancer combined (MOR=1.57) and for each lung cancer histologic subtype examined. All construction occupations, except managers/engineers and supervisors, had a significantly elevated risk for all lung cancer combined. Roofers and welders had the highest risks for total lung cancer and for each of the histologic subtypes. Construction workers in each of the four race/ethnicity groups also had significantly increased lung cancer risks. Compared to non-construction workers, construction workers were diagnosed at an earlier age, at a more advanced stage, and had significantly lower 3-year survival, though differences were modest. Conclusion: These findings justify additional reductions in carcinogenic exposures in construction, and increased support for smoking cessation programs at construction sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-422
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Cancer
  • Construction
  • Laborer
  • Lung
  • Occupational
  • Race
  • Roofer
  • Surveillance
  • Welder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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