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Ischaemic heart disease mortality and years of work in trucking industry workers
  1. Jaime E Hart1,2,
  2. Eric Garshick3,1,
  3. Thomas J Smith4,
  4. Mary E Davis5,4,
  5. Francine Laden1,2,4
  1. 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Medical Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jaime E Hart, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; jaime.hart{at}


Objectives Evidence from general population-based studies and occupational cohorts has identified air pollution from mobile sources as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In a cohort of US trucking industry workers, with regular exposure to vehicle exhaust, the authors previously observed elevated standardised mortality ratios for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) compared with members of the general US population. Therefore, the authors examined the association of increasing years of work in jobs with vehicle exhaust exposure and IHD mortality within the cohort.

Methods The authors calculated years of work in eight job groups for 30 758 workers using work records from four nationwide companies. Proportional hazard regression was used to examine relationships between IHD mortality, 1985–2000, and employment duration in each job group.

Results HRs for at least 1 year of work in each job were elevated for dockworkers, long haul drivers, pick-up and delivery drivers, combination workers, hostlers, and shop workers. There was a suggestion of an increased risk of IHD mortality with increasing years of work as a long haul driver, pick-up and delivery driver, combination worker, and dockworker.

Conclusion These results suggest an elevated risk of IHD mortality in workers with a previous history of regular exposure to vehicle exhaust.

  • Vehicle emissions
  • diesel exhaust
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • public health
  • epidemiology
  • transport
  • particulates
  • health and safety
  • retrospective exposure assessment
  • statistics
  • exposure assessment
  • air pollution

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  • Funding This study was supported by NIH/NCI R01 CA90792; NIEHS ES00002.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by Institutional Review Boards of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and VA Boston Healthcare System.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.