Evaluation of an exposure assessment used in epidemiological studies of diesel exhaust and lung cancer in underground mines.
Summary of "Evaluation of an exposure assessment used in epidemiological studies of diesel exhaust and lung cancer in underground mines."
NIOSH/NCI (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and National Cancer Institute) developed exposure estimates for respirable elemental carbon (REC) as a surrogate for exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) for different jobs in eight underground mines by year beginning in the 1940s-1960s when diesel equipment was first introduced into these mines. These estimates played a key role in subsequent epidemiological analyses of the potential relationship between exposure to DE and lung cancer conducted in these mines. We report here on a reanalysis of some of the data from this exposure assessment. Because samples of REC were limited primarily to 1998-2001, NIOSH/NCI used carbon monoxide (CO) as a surrogate for REC. In addition, because CO samples were limited, particularly in the earlier years, they used the ratio of diesel horsepower (HP) to the mine air exhaust rate as a surrogate for CO. There are considerable uncertainties connected with each of these surrogate-based steps. The estimates of HP appear to involve considerable uncertainty, although we had no data upon which to evaluate the magnitude of this uncertainty. A sizable percentage (45%) of the CO samples used in the HP to CO model was below the detection limit which required NIOSH/NCI to assign CO values to these samples. In their preferred REC estimates, NIOSH/NCI assumed a linear relation between C0 and REC, although they provided no credible support for that assumption. Their assumption of a stable relationship between HP and CO also is questionable, and our reanalysis found a statistically significant relationship in only one-half of the mines. We re-estimated yearly REC exposures mainly using NIOSH/NCI methods but with some important differences: (i) rather than simply assuming a linear relationship, we used data from the mines to estimate the CO-REC relationship; (ii) we used a different method for assigning values to nondetect CO measurements; and (iii) we took account of statistical uncertainty to estimate bounds for REC exposures. This exercise yielded significantly different exposure estimates than estimated by NIOSH/NCI. However, this analysis did not incorporate the full range of uncertainty in REC exposures because of additional uncertainties in the assumptions underlying the modeling and in the underlying data (e.g. HP and mine exhaust rates). Estimating historical exposures in a cohort is generally a very difficult undertaking. However, this should not prevent one from recognizing the uncertainty in the resulting estimates in any use made of them.
ENVIRON International Corporation , USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Critical reviews in toxicology
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22594934
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10408444.2012.689755
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
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Studies determining the effectiveness or value of processes, personnel, and equipment, or the material on conducting such studies. For drugs and devices, CLINICAL TRIALS AS TOPIC; DRUG EVALUATION; and DRUG EVALUATION, PRECLINICAL are available.
The science concerned with the benefit and risk of drugs used in populations and the analysis of the outcomes of drug therapies. Pharmacoepidemiologic data come from both clinical trials and epidemiological studies with emphasis on methods for the detection and evaluation of drug-related adverse effects, assessment of risk vs benefit ratios in drug therapy, patterns of drug utilization, the cost-effectiveness of specific drugs, methodology of postmarketing surveillance, and the relation between pharmacoepidemiology and the formulation and interpretation of regulatory guidelines. (Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 1992;1(1); J Pharmacoepidemiol 1990;1(1))
Outcome And Process Assessment (health Care)
Evaluation procedures that focus on both the outcome or status (OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT) of the patient at the end of an episode of care - presence of symptoms, level of activity, and mortality; and the process (ASSESSMENT, PROCESS) - what is done for the patient diagnostically and therapeutically.
Studies designed to assess the efficacy of programs. They may include the evaluation of cost-effectiveness, the extent to which objectives are met, or impact.
Evaluation and measurement of nutritional variables in order to assess the level of nutrition or the NUTRITIONAL STATUS of the individual. NUTRITION SURVEYS may be used in making the assessment.
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