Mortality among United States Coast Guard marine inspectors: a follow up

Mil Med. 2009 Aug;174(8):843-51. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-02-3307.


We previously assessed mortality among U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) marine inspectors (inspectors) and Coast Guard officers who were not marine inspectors (noninspectors). Here, we extended follow-up of the cohort by 14 years, ascertaining vital status 1980-1994, calculating standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for inspectors and noninspectors, and comparing mortality rates via directly adjusted rate ratios (RRs). Both inspectors and noninspectors had deficits for all causes of death (SMR = 75 and 61, respectively) and all malignant neoplasms (SMR = 86 and 69, respectively). Compared with noninspectors, inspectors had nonstatistically significant excesses of liver cirrhosis (SMR = 124; RR = 2.2) and chronic rheumatic heart disease (SMR = 129; RR = 2.6) and deficits of cancer of the respiratory system (SMR = 59; RR = 0.8). SMRs and RRs rose with increasing probability of exposure to chemicals for cirrhosis of the liver, all accidents and motor vehicle accidents, although they fell for all causes of death, diseases of the nervous system, diseases of the circulatory system, and cancers of the respiratory system. These results suggest that contact with chemicals during inspection of merchant vessels may be involved in the development of these diseases, although other aspects of the job, such as physical activity may account for deficits in respiratory cancers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Military Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Ships*
  • United States