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Title: Smoking patterns by occupation and duration of employment.
Authors: Levin LI,  Silverman DT,  Hartge P,  Fears TR,  Hoover RN
Journal: Am J Ind Med
Date: 1990
Branches: EBP
PubMed ID: 2343876
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: Lifetime patterns of smoking and occupation based on personal interviews were examined among 3,627 white men and 1,200 white women who were randomly selected from ten areas in the United States during the period 1977-1978. These individuals participated in the control series of the National Bladder Cancer Study. We estimated, based on Axelson's method, the extent to which smoking habits for given occupational groups would confound the estimated relative risk for lung cancer for 62 occupations among men and 18 occupations among women. Among men, confounding by smoking resulted in a 30% or greater increased risk of lung cancer in only three occupational groups--namely, stationary engineers and power station operators (relative risk (RR) = 1.6), printers (RR = 1.3), and fishermen and sailors (RR = 1.3). A decrease in lung cancer risk of 0.8 or less due to smoking habits was observed among the clergy (RR = 0.5) and chemical workers (RR = 0.7). Among women, a 30% increase or greater in the risk of lung cancer based on smoking habits alone was found for food service workers (RR = 1.5), building managers and administrators (RR = 1.3), telephone and telegraph operators (RR = 1.3), and operatives (RR = 1.3). A risk ratio of 0.8 or less was observed for those women employed as farmers (RR = 0.5) and teachers (RR = 0.8). Smoking habits by duration of employment were also examined for 38 occupations among men. The largest increase in the risk of lung cancer based on the smoking habits among long-term workers was only 1.3 and was observed for those men employed 20 or more years as painters and as electricians. These findings suggest that the smoking patterns, in only a few occupational groups that we evaluated, confound estimates of the relative risk by more than 30%, and for most occupational groups under investigation in this study, confounding by smoking alone did not produce trends in relative risks by duration of employment.