Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This study involved the establishment of a system for monitoring occupational cancer mortality in a ten percent sample of males in the Canadian labour force. The system was designed to detect associations between occupations and industries, and specific cancer sites, which merit more detailed study.;Occupational histories of approximately a ten percent sample of the Canadian labour force from 1965 to 1971 were linked to the Canadian mortality data base maintained by Statistics Canada to determine the mortality experience of the cohort between 1965 and 1979, using computerized record linkage. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) were calculated for each occupation and industry code, for 33 cancer categories, with the total cohort as the reference population. In addition, occupations were grouped into four social classes so that the mortality for individual occupations could be compared to all occupations in the same social class. This provided an indirect method of controlling for confounders, on the theory that people in similar economic circumstances have similar lifestyles. The mortality of the ten percent sample was also compared to that of the Canadian population as a whole.;The file for analysis consisted of 415,316 males, of whom 41,196 had died by the end of 1979. Statistically significant results (P {dollar}<{dollar} 0.05, 1 sided) with at least five observed deaths in the ten percent sample were compared with four other analyses of occupational cancer mortality, and five reviews of occupation-cancer associations. The results of the 10 percent sample were assessed according to specific criteria e.g. strength, and consistency. The strongest findings included the associations of plumbers and pipefitters with lung cancer, truck drivers with lung cancer, waiters and bartenders with cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx, and carpenters with stomach cancer.;It was concluded that the above findings, as well as several others merit more detailed study in order to quantify risks and recommend preventive measures. Further follow-up of the ten percent sample would be valuable because the cohort was still relatively young as of 1979, and longer latent periods may be necessary to detect some occupation-cancer associations.



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