Mortality in police and firefighters in New Jersey

Am J Ind Med. 1986;9(6):517-27. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700090603.


A proportionate mortality study of police and firefighters in New Jersey was conducted using the records of a comprehensive retirement system. Three reference populations were used: U.S. general population, New Jersey general population, and police as a reference group for the firefighters. Overall neither group differed from the New Jersey male population in the cause of death. Analyses by latency showed an increase in skin cancer and cirrhosis in firefighters and cirrhosis in police. With increased time from first employment, an inverse association was found between heart disease and time of first exposure. This was reflected in statistically significant increased proportionate mortality rates (PMR) for arteriosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) (ICD 410-414) for both working police (PMR = 1.15) and firefighters (PMR = 1.2). Retired police and firefighters had PMRs of 0.96 and 0.98, respectively. Firefighters had a significant increase in nonmalignant respiratory disease (PMR = 1.98) and leukemia (PMR = 2.76) when the police were used as a reference group. Potential causes of the above findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Diseases / mortality
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fires*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • New Jersey
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / mortality
  • Risk
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Social Control, Formal*