International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Cancer incidence in a cohort of asbestos-exposed workers undergoing
· Tina Zanin
· Federica E. Pisa
· Anica Casetta
· Valentina Rosolen
· Manuela Giangreco
· Massimo Bovenzi
· Fabio Barbone
Received: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Objectives To compare a local cohort of 2488 men occupationally exposed to asbestos and enrolled in a public health sur-
veillance program with the 1995–2009 cancer incidence of the general population of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region,
Northeast Italy, we conducted a historical cohort study.
Methods Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs), with 95% conﬁdence interval (95% CI), for speciﬁc cancer sites were esti-
mated in the cohort and in subgroups of workers employed in shipbuilding between 1974 and 1994. For internal comparisons,
we calculated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for all cancers, lung cancer and mesothelioma, by level of exposure to asbestos
and sector of employment adjusted for smoking habits and age at start of follow-up.
Results Among cohort members the SIR was 8.82 (95% CI 5.95–12.61) for mesothelioma and 1.61 (95% CI 1.26–2.04) for
lung cancer. In subgroup analyses, the SIR for lung cancer in subjects hired in shipbuilding between 1974 and 1984 was 2.09
(95% CI 1.32–3.13). In the overall cohort, a borderline increased incidence was also found for stomach cancer (SIR = 1.53
95% CI 0.96–2.31). Internal comparisons within the cohort show that among men with high asbestos exposure level the
relative risk was almost threefold for lung cancer (IRR = 2.94 95% CI 1.01–8.57).
Conclusions This cohort experienced an excess in the incidence of both mesothelioma and lung cancer, showing increasing
incidence rates at higher level of asbestos exposure. For lung cancer, the relative incidence was highest among workers hired
in shipbuilding between 1974 and 1984.
Keywords Cancer incidence · Asbestos · Shipbuilding · Epidemiology · Monfalcone
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s0042 0-018-1326-3) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Fabio Barbone
Federica E. Pisa
Dipartimento di Area Medica, University of Udine, Via
Colugna 50, 33100 Udine, Italy
Health and Safety at Work Department (SPISAL), Local
Health Authority No 12, Region of Veneto, Mestre, Italy
Health and Safety at Work Department, Local Health
Authority No 2 (ASS2), Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia,
Institute of Hygiene and Clinical Epidemiology, Azienda
Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata, Udine, Italy
Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste,