Case-control study of lung cancer and truck driving in the Teamsters Union

Am J Public Health. 1990 Jun;80(6):670-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.80.6.670.


We conducted a case-control study of lung cancer deaths in the Teamsters Union to compare the risk of different occupations within the teamsters, after controlling for smoking and other confounders. Occupations with no presumed exposure to diesel fumes were used as the nonexposed group. The study population consisted of 996 cases and 1,085 controls who had died in 1982-83 after applying for pensions. Next of kin provided information on smoking, work history, and other potential confounders. Work history data were also obtained from the Teamsters Union. While no single job category had a significant excess risk compared to the non-exposed group, certain sub-groups were elevated. The odds ratio for those with long-term employment as long-haul truckers after 1959 (an approximate date for the introduction of diesel engines) was 1.55 (95% CI: 0.97, 2.47). Long-term drivers of primarily diesel trucks had an odds ratio of 1.89 (95% CI: 1.04, 3.42). Overall, our results suggest that diesel truck drivers have an excess risk of lung cancer compared to other teamsters in jobs outside the trucking industry. However, our findings were not uniformly consistent and our data have many limitations, the most important of which is the lack of data on exposure to diesel fumes.

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Death Certificates
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Labor Unions*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • Vehicle Emissions / poisoning*


  • Vehicle Emissions