A cohort mortality study of construction workers

Am J Ind Med. 1997 Jul;32(1):35-41. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199707)32:1<35::aid-ajim5>3.0.co;2-q.


This report presents a mortality study among the 17,344 members of the Construction Workers' Health Insurance Society of Mie Prefecture in Japan. The study period was between 1973 and 1993. During this period, 480 members died. Age-specific mortality rates of Mie Prefecture were used as comparison standards. Significantly elevated standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) were observed for "accidents and adverse effects." In addition, the PMRs of all cancers and "cancers of trachea, bronchus and lung" were also significantly elevated. The job classifications were reorganized into three groups, according to the frequency of asbestos exposure the workers experienced on the construction sites. The asbestos exposure was based on job classifications among 7,411 workers who had completed a self-administered survey questionnaire. In the frequent-exposure group, the PMR was significantly elevated for all cancers. In the medium-exposure group, the SMRs were significantly elevated for all cancers and "cancer of trachea, bronchus and lung." The PMR was significantly elevated for "cancer of trachea, bronchus and lung." In the less-exposure, group, the PMR was significantly elevated for "accidents and adverse effects." This study provided support for the hypothesis that working in the construction industry might be associated with high risks for asbestos-associated cancers and accidental deaths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asbestos / adverse effects
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Facility Design and Construction*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Poisson Distribution


  • Asbestos