An analysis of mortality follow-up through the National Death Index for a cohort of refinery and petrochemical workers

Am J Ind Med. 1986;9(2):181-7. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700090209.


Along with our submission to the National Death Index (NDI) of a cohort of more than 23,000 petrochemical and refinery workers, we included 1,449 known U.S. deaths to determine the completeness of death ascertainment through the NDI. A number of factors that may affect follow-up were examined including sex, race, age and reporting area. Overall, NDI detected 97.1% of known deaths. Follow-up was slightly better for males (97.2%) than for females (92.0%) and was significantly better for whites (97.6%) than for nonwhites (92.0%). Analyses by reporting area showed very complete follow-up from all locations (93.4%-100%) except for the New York City area (71.4%). These findings indicate that NDI is an extremely useful source for vital status follow-up, though follow-up may be somewhat less complete for certain subgroups of an occupational study cohort.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fuel Oils*
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Petroleum*
  • Registries
  • United States


  • Fuel Oils
  • Petroleum