Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/9892
Introduction: Aircrews are exposed to cosmic radiation and other possible determinants of health. In recent years possible cancer risk among pilots has become a matter of interest. Higher incidence and mortality from malignant melanoma has been reported in several epidemiological studies but results have been inconclusive. The aim was to study the mortality of Icelandic airline pilots.
Material and methods: A cohort study was carried out on 454 male commercial pilots followed up between January 1st 1960 and December 31st 2009 in the National Cause-of-Death Registry. Furthermore, the cohort was divided into Icelandair and non Icelandair pilots. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the Icelandic male population as reference.
Results: Seventy eight deaths were observed during the follow-up period. Mortality for all causes (SMR = 0,94, 95% CI = 0,85-1,30), cardiovascular diseases (SMR = 0,52, 95% CI = 0,30-0,85) and all cancers (SMR = 0,95, 95% CI = 0,61-1,41) were decreased. Malignant melanoma mortality among Icelandair pilots was significantly increased (SMR = 8,27, 95% CI = 1,00-29,85) and mortality from aircraft accidents was prominent (SMR = 44,57, 95% CI = 29,86-64,18).
Conclusion: The results are in accordance with previous observations. Icelandic airline pilots have a lower overall mortality than the general population. Increased risk of malignant melanoma and aircraft accidents was confirmed. Increase in cancers linked to exposure of ionizing radiation was not found in excess. However, cosmic radiation cannot be excluded as a possible determinant of malignant melanoma.
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