Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(1):64-67    pdf


Mortality study of workers employed by the Italian National Institute of Health, 1960-1989.

by Belli S, Comba P, De Santis M, Grignoli M, Sasco AJ

A cohort mortality study was conducted to evaluate the cancer risk of workers employed by the National Institute of Health in Rome, Italy. Cancer mortality was evaluated for research staff. A deficit of overall cancer mortality was found for the men, but not for the women. Elevated (albeit statistically nonsignificant) standardized mortality ratios were found for cancer of the pancreas (men 155, women 236), cancer of the brain (men 159), lympho- and reticulosarcomas (men 233, women 512), and lymphatic and hematopoietic tumors (women 623). In addition the women had a statistically significantly elevated risk of breast cancer (288). Although most of these results, with the exception of breast cancer among the women, were not statistically significant, due to the limited study size, they point to the existence of excess risks for some tumors. The possibility that these increases are related to exposures occurring in the laboratory setting deserves further consideration.