Cancer Incidence in Florida Professional Firefighters, 1981 to 1999

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to examine the cancer risk associated with firefighting.

Methods:

Standardized incidence ratio analysis (SIR) was used to determine the relative cancer risk for firefighters as compared with the Florida general population.

Results:

Among 34,796 male (413,022 person-years) and 2,017 female (18,843 person-years) firefighters, 970 male and 52 female cases of cancer were identified. Male firefighters had significantly increased incidence rates of bladder (SIR = 1.29; 95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.62), testicular (1.60; 1.20–2.09), and thyroid cancers (1.77; 1.08–2.73). Female firefighters had significantly increased incidence rates of overall cancer (1.63; 1.22–2.14), cervical (5.24; 2.93–8.65), and thyroid cancer (3.97; 1.45–8.65) and Hodgkin disease (6.25; 1.26–18.26).

Conclusions:

Firefighting may be associated with an increased risk of selected site-specific cancers in males and females, including an overall increased cancer risk in female firefighters.

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