A historical cohort mortality study among shipyard workers in Genoa, Italy

Am J Ind Med. 2001 Oct;40(4):363-70. doi: 10.1002/ajim.1110.


Background: A historical cohort mortality study was conducted among 3984 shipyard workers assigned to ship repair, refitting, and construction in the harbor of Genoa, Italy, between 1960 and 1981. These workers were exposed to asbestos fibers, welding fumes and gases, silica dust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and solvents.

Methods: Workers were classified in 20 different job-titles depending upon the type of activity. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed using male residents of the Province of Genoa as the referent population.

Results and conclusions: For the whole cohort significantly increased SMRs were detected for all causes, all cancers, liver, larynx, lung, pleural and bladder cancers, respiratory tract diseases, and cirrhosis of the liver. The analysis by job-title showed increased SMRs not only for pleural cancer, but also for lung, laryngeal cancers and respiratory tract diseases in occupations entailing heavy asbestos exposure. Bladder and liver cancers and liver cirrhosis mortality also appeared to be related to occupational exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asbestosis / etiology
  • Asbestosis / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / adverse effects
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ships
  • Silicon Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality


  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Silicon Dioxide