Article Text

PDF
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality in railroad workers
  1. J E Hart1,2,3,
  2. F Laden1,2,3,
  3. E A Eisen1,
  4. T J Smith1,
  5. E Garshick2,4
  1. 1
    Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2
    Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4
    Department of Veterans Affairs, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Jaime E Hart, Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston MA 02115, USA; Jaime.hart{at}channing.harvard.edu

Abstract

Background: There is little information describing the risk of non-malignant respiratory disease and occupational exposure to diesel exhaust.

Methods: US railroad workers have been exposed to diesel exhaust since diesel locomotives were introduced after World War II. In a retrospective cohort study we examined the association of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality with years of work in diesel-exposed jobs. To examine the possible confounding effects of smoking, multiple imputation was used to model smoking history. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate an incidence rate ratio, adjusted for age, calendar year, and length of follow-up after leaving work (to reduce bias due to a healthy worker survivor effect).

Results: Workers in jobs with diesel exhaust exposure had an increased risk of COPD mortality relative to those in unexposed jobs. Workers hired after the introduction of diesel locomotives had a 2.5% increase in COPD mortality risk for each additional year of work in a diesel-exposed job. This risk was only slightly attenuated after adjustment for imputed smoking history.

Conclusions: These results support an association between occupational exposure to diesel exhaust and COPD mortality.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Funding: Grant information: Grant Sponsor: NIOSH Grant Number: CCR115818 and NIH/NCI Grant Number: CA79725.

  • Competing interests: None.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.