Cancer mortality among Brazilian miners during 1979-2005

Gesiele Veríssimo Raphael Mendonça Armando Meyer About the authors

Miners are exposed to many risk factors related to their working environment, such as dusts, noxious gases, lack of oxygen, high temperature, metals, and radioactivity. Mining contributes with about 5% to the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product and more than 70% of all mines are located in the South and Southeast regions of the country. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mortality, by any neoplasms and specifically by lung/bronchial/tracheal and stomach cancers, among miners from Brazil, and from the South and Southeast regions between 1979-2005 and comparing it with that experienced by the general population of the country or the said regions. The data of the deaths of miners was obtained through Brazilian Mortality Information System (Sistema de Informação sobre Mortalidade - SIM) according to ICD-9 and ICD-10 from all the country and from the South and Southeast Brazilian regions. Then, the Mortality Odds Ratio (MOR) was calculated, stratified by age (<60 and 60+ years old) and periods of death (1979-1987; 1988-1996; 1997-2005). Brazilian miners showed an increased risk of dying from the herein studied causes, and the highest magnitudes were found among younger workers. Moreover, there were trends of increased risk throughout the three studied periods among the groups of miners of all ages (20+ years old). Miners from South and Southeast regions showed an increased risk of death from some cancers, especially among the younger ones. In the Southeast region, the miners' population showed double the risk of death from stomach cancer when compared to the reference population. Our results suggest that Brazilian miners are at increased risk to die from cancer.

mortality; mining; neoplasms


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