Follow-Up of the Libby, Montana Screening Cohort: A 17-Year Mortality Study

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Jan;62(1):e1-e6. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001760.


Objective: To evaluate mortality patterns among participants in a community-based screening program for asbestos-related disease.

Methods: We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and stratified results by exposure group (three occupational exposure groups, household contacts and residents without occupational asbestos exposure) and by radiographic abnormality presence.

Results: All-cause mortality (15.8%; 1,429/8,043) was statistically lower than expected. Asbestosis was statistically elevated in all exposure groups. Lung cancer was moderately associated with vermiculite miner/miller employment. Mesothelioma was elevated in that same exposure group and among residents. Systemic autoimmune disease mortality was also elevated. Radiographic parenchymal abnormalities were associated with lung cancer mortality.

Conclusion: In addition to asbestos-related mortality in occupational exposure groups, this initial follow-up of this cohort also shows elevated mortality for some asbestos-related causes in non-occupational exposure groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Asbestos
  • Asbestos, Amphibole
  • Asbestosis / epidemiology*
  • Biometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Montana / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Asbestos, Amphibole
  • vermiculite
  • Asbestos