A retrospective occupational cohort study of end-stage renal disease in aircraft workers exposed to trichloroethylene and other hydrocarbons

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Jan;48(1):1-12. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000190300.51629.e0.


Objective: Case-control studies suggest hydrocarbons increase end-stage renal disease (ESRD) risk. No cohort studies have been conducted.

Methods: An occupational database was matched to the U.S. Renal Data System, and the outcome of all-cause ESRD was examined using multivariable Cox regression. Sixteen individual hydrocarbons were studied, although exposures were not mutually exclusive.

Results: For the 1973-2000 period, there was an approximate twofold increased risk of ESRD among workers exposed to trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and JP4 gasoline compared with unexposed subjects (all P < 0.05). Relative risk was greater than unity (P > 0.05) for several other hydrocarbons. Associations attenuated (all P > 0.05) when 2001-2002 data were included in the analyses.

Conclusions: Certain hydrocarbons may increase all-cause ESRD risk. Uncertainty regarding the mechanism for increased risk and the observed attenuation in risk in 2001-2002, as well as the overlap of exposures, complicates interpretation. Additional research is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aircraft
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Sex Distribution
  • Trichloroethylene / adverse effects*
  • Utah / epidemiology


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Trichloroethylene