Mortality in gold and coal miners in Western Australia with special reference to lung cancer

B K Armstrong, J C McNulty, L J Levitt, K A Williams, M S Hobbs
1979 Occupational and Environmental Medicine  
Cohorts of 1974 gold miners and 213 coal miners in Western Australia surveyed for respiratory symptoms, smoking habits, occupational history and radiographic evidence of pneumoconiosis have been followed up for 13-14 years. Overall, neither group had a significantly higher mortality than expected from the experience of Western Australian men in general. Lung cancer mortality was relatively high in the gold miners (59 deaths observed, 40-8 expected) but weakly and inconclusively related to the
more » ... tent of their underground mining experience. Cigarette smoking may explain the excess of lung cancer in the gold miners because the prevalence of the habit in the latter (66-3 %) was higher than in the coal miners (58 7 %) or in other men in Western Australia (53 2 %). Radiographic evidence of silicosis was present in 21-7% of the gold miners but did not appear to have contributed substantially to their mortality. The coal miners showed a lower than expected rate of lung cancer but an excess of deaths from all other forms of cancer (11 observed, 5 6 expected). This excess was not attributable to any one cancer site and cannot be explained readily. are equal to those in the capital city, Perth. Lung cancer rates in all other parts of the State (except the sparsely populated 'frontier' settlements of the 199 on 22 July 2018 by guest. Protected by copyright.
doi:10.1136/oem.36.3.199 fatcat:pakdldvo6nbcngi4ffducd6o5m