The mortality of British Airways pilots, 1966-1989: a proportional mortality study

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1992 Apr;63(4):276-9.


Of 446 deaths among serving and retired British Airways pilots between 1966 and 1989, 411 were analysed using the Proportional Mortality Ratio (PMR) technique. After removal of the predictable excess of aircraft accidents, excesses of cancer (PMR 1.31) and other accidents (1.60) were balanced by deficits in diseases of the circulatory (0.83) and respiratory (0.49) systems. While lung cancer was close to expectation (1.10), consistent excesses were shown in all analyses for malignant melanoma (6.68), cirrhosis of the liver (2.88), colon cancer (2.30) and brain/CNS cancer (2.68). Consideration of these ratios in relation to pilots' lifestyle and occupation leads to the conclusion that the brain/CNS cancer excess must be studied further.

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Cause of Death
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Humans
  • Mortality*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology