Mortality rates in a female cohort following asbestos exposure in Germany

J Occup Med. 1994 Aug;36(8):889-93.


A cohort study was conducted of 616 German female workers with a history of exposure to asbestos. Standardized proportionate mortality analysis was done except for mesothelioma, for which proportionate mortality was computed based on best evident cause of death. Mortality from lung cancer was increased three times over expected value. Death rates due to mesothelioma were 340 times higher than in the general population. Female mortality rates surpassed those observed in men twofold for lung cancer and fourfold for mesothelioma. In comparison with published data from international cohort studies, the observed mortality for mesothelioma in our female cohort appeared higher than that previously reported. German women with a history of asbestos exposure are considered a high-risk group for developing mesothelioma and lung cancer. They should be a target group for intervention strategies (eg, chemoprevention, smoking cessation, early cancer detection).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Mesothelioma / chemically induced
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Prospective Studies
  • Women's Health
  • Women, Working


  • Asbestos