Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(1):34-43    pdf


Cardiovascular mortality among munitions workers exposed to nitroglycerin and dinitrotoluene.

by Stayner LT, Dannenberg AL, Thun M, Reeve G, Bloom TF, Boeniger M, Halperin W

A retrospective cohort mortality study with 5529 nitroglycerin, 4989 dinitrotoluene, and 5136 unexposed workers compared the mortality of the exposed groups with that of the United States population and that of the unexposed group with life-table analysis and Poisson regression. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was close to that expected, and mortality from cerebrovascular disease was slightly less than that expected, for the workers with both nitroglycerin and dinitrotoluene exposure and for those with dinitrotoluene exposure only. A significant interaction between age and nitroglycerin exposure was detected in the Poisson regression analyses for ischemic heart disease, particularly for workers actively exposed to nitroglycerin. The rate ratio for the workers under 45 years of age and actively exposed to nitroglycerin was 3.30 (95% confidence interval 129-8.48). This study did not show a chronic effect of nitroglycerin or dinitrotoluene exposure on cardiovascular disease risk. Potential biases related to the company's medical screening program may have limited the ability to detect chronic cardiovascular effects.