Mortality from Selected Cancers among Brazilian Mechanics

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Occupational and Environmental Health Branch, Public Health Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2 Center for Studies on Workers’ Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Introduction: Mechanics are exposed to known human carcinogens. This study aimed to compare mortality from selected cancers between male mechanics and the general population of the South and Southeast regions of Brazil. Methods: Data on deaths, occurred between 2006-2017, among male mechanics and the general population, were obtained from the Mortality Information System. Occupations were classified using the Brazilian Classification of Occupations. Mortality Odds Ratio (MOR) and confidence intervals (95%) for selected cancers among mechanics, stratified by age (30-49, 50-69 years), race, and education compared to the general population, were estimated using logistic regression models. Results: In general, mechanics showed higher mortality from oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, lung and bladder cancers, but lower mortality for all leukemias. Oropharynx and larynx cancer mortality risk was slightly higher among older mechanics, while hypopharynx cancer mortality was more noticeable among the youngest. Lower mortality from all leukemias was observed only among younger mechanics. Mortality by oropharynx and larynx cancers were higher among white mechanics. They were also the only ones to experience higher mortality by hypopharynx cancer, while lung cancer mortality were increased only among non-white ones. Mechanics of all educational levels were more likely to die by the oropharynx cancer. Those with 1-7 and 8 or more years of schooling also showed excess of death by the cancers of larynx and all leukemias. Significantly higher mortality by pancreas cancer was only observed among mechanics with no education, while those with 1-7 years of schooling showed higher risk to die by lung and bladder cancers. Those with 8 or more years of schooling show increased mortality risk for hypopharynx cancer. Increased mortality risk for myeloid leukemia was only observed when stratified by region of residence. Conclusion: Results of our study suggest a positive association between mechanic occupation and some specific cancers.


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