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Mortality among Japanese construction workers in Mie Prefecture
  1. J Sun1,
  2. H Kubota2,
  3. N Hisanaga2,
  4. E Shibata3,
  5. M Kamijima4,
  6. K Nakamura5
  1. 1Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton, Canada
  2. 2National Institute of Industrial Health, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Kawasaki, Japan
  3. 3Department of Medical Technology, Nagoya University School of Health Science, Nagoya, Japan
  4. 4Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
  5. 5Tokai Works, Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute, Ibaraki, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Sun, Institute of Health Economics, #1200, 10405 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5J 3N4, Canada;


Aims: A historical cohort mortality study was conducted among 17 668 members of the Construction Workers’ Health Insurance Society of Mie Prefecture in Japan, in order to verify the relation between occupations and mortality status.

Methods: The cohort was followed from 2 April 1973 to 1 April 1998. Standardised mortality ratios (SMR) were calculated for all members and each job classification.

Results: 98.7% of the members were traced successfully until the date when the follow up terminated. When all members were considered together, significant excess mortality was observed for “accidents and adverse effects”. Significant excess mortalities were also observed for lung cancers among scaffold men and ironworkers, for cancer of the oesophagus among plumbers, and for “chronic liver disease and cirrhosis” among scaffold men and painters.

Conclusion: Results suggest that more detailed investigations, which would include some minor job classifications should be undertaken. This is an updated cohort study which was partially completed in 1997.

  • cohort study
  • construction
  • mortality
  • NHI, national health insurance
  • PMR, proportionate mortality ratio
  • SMR, standardised mortality ratio
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