Abstract Title:

Cancer in Korean war navy technicians: mortality survey after 40 years.

Abstract Source:

Am J Epidemiol. 2002 May 1 ;155(9):810-8. PMID: 11978584

Abstract Author(s):

Frank D Groves, William F Page, Gloria Gridley, Laure Lisimaque, Patricia A Stewart, Robert E Tarone, Mitchell H Gail, John D Boice, Gilbert W Beebe

Article Affiliation:

Frank D Groves


This study reports on over 40 years of mortality follow-up of 40,581 Navy veterans of the Korean War with potential exposure to high-intensity radar. The cohort death rates were compared with mortality rates for White US men using standardized mortality ratios, and the death rates for men in occupations considered a priori to have high radar exposure were compared with the rates for men in low-exposure occupations using Poisson regression. Deaths from all diseases and all cancers were significantly below expectation overall and for the 20,021 sailors with high radar exposure potential. There was no evidence of increased brain cancer in the entire cohort (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7, 1.1) or in high-exposure occupations (SMR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5, 1.0). Testicular cancer deaths also occurred less frequently than expected in the entire cohort and high-exposure occupations. Death rates for several smoking-related diseases were significantly lower in the high-exposure occupations. Nonlymphocytic leukemia was significantly elevated among men in high-exposure occupations but in only one of the three high-exposure occupations, namely, electronics technicians in aviation squadrons (SMR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.3, 3.7). Radar exposure had little effect on mortality in this cohort of US Navy veterans.

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