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A Nested Case-Control Study of Lung Cancer and Diesel Exhaust Among Non-Metal Miners

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Diesel Exhaust

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Trial Information

A Nested Case-Control Study of Lung Cancer and Diesel Exhaust Among Non-Metal Miners

Diesel exhaust has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for
Research on Cancer and as a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH). The carcinogenicity of this pollutant is of concern not only for
the one million workers who are exposed occupationally, but also for the general population.
Over 30 epidemiologic studies of diesel exhaust exposure have been performed, and the
results suggest an increase in lung cancer risk. However, the association is not well
defined. Past studies have suffered from the use of crude indicators of exposure,
inadequate control of confounding, and/or short follow-up periods, low exposure levels, and
small numbers of observations.

NCI and NIOSH are collaborating on two related studies of diesel exhaust under the NCI/NIOSH
Interagency Agreement. First, a retrospective cohort mortality study of about 8,200
non-metal miners will be performed to investigate lung cancer mortality in relation to
quantitative measures of diesel exhaust exposure, and to determine whether there is evidence
of elevated mortality from other causes of death among diesel exhaust exposed miners. The
retrospective cohort study will be performed using existing records and information and has
been exempted from IRB review. NIOSH is the lead agency on the retrospective cohort study.

The proposed study is a case-control study nested in the retrospective cohort of non-metal
miners. The study is expected to include at least 160 members of the cohort who died from
lung cancer and four matched controls for each case. Using a structured questionnaire,
detailed information will be collected on each subject's lifetime exposure to diesel
exhaust, as well as information on smoking and other confounders. This information will
allow investigators to examine the association between lung cancer and different
quantitative measures of diesel exhaust exposure, adjusted for smoking and other potential

Inclusion Criteria


Subjects will be identified from all 10 mines participating in the cohort study.

Cases from each mine will be lung cancer deaths as specified on the death certificate
occurring among members of the cohort working at the mine between the date the mine was
dieselized and December 31, 1996.

Children will be excluded from participating.

We will exclude cases that are found either not likely to be carcinoma of the lung or
metastatic to the lung by slide review or pathology report.

Four controls will be selected for each case by random sampling from among all members of
the cohort who were alive prior to the day the case died.

Controls will be individually matched to the case on mine, gender, race/ethnicity, and
year of birth (within 5 years).

Type of Study:


Study Design:


Principal Investigator

Debra Silverman, D.Sc.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

January 1999

Completion Date:

Related Keywords:

  • Diesel Exhaust
  • Epidemiology
  • Exposures
  • Occupation
  • Lung Neoplasms



National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Morgantown, West Virginia  26505-2888