Mortality from Cancer and Other Causes among Airline Cabin Attendants in Germany, 1960–1997

This is the title of a paper which very much says what it is, and I quote: “The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997….  “The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up).”  It can be safely assumed that they were exposed to large levels of second hand smoke (SHS).  First let’s look at the lung cancer numbers.

“We found a rather remarkably low SMR for lung cancer among female cabin attendants and no increase for male cabin attendants, indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group. Smoking during airplane flights was permitted in Germany until the mid-1990s, and smoking is still not banned on all charter flights.”

Funding was from these tobacco lackeys: “This work was partially supported by grants from the Berufsgenossenschaft für Fahrzeughaltungen, Lufthansa German Airlines, LTU International Airlines, the trade unions Deutsche Angestellten-Gewerkschaft and Gewerkschaft Öffentliche Dienste, Transport, und Verkehr, the German Academy for Aviation Medicine, and the Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation.

The full abstract reads. Over to Rollo in the studio.

Abstract

Airline cabin attendants are exposed to several potential occupational hazards, including cosmic radiation. Little is known about the mortality pattern and cancer risk of these persons. The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997. The authors computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for specific causes of death using German population rates. The effect of duration of employment was evaluated with Poisson regression. The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up). Among women, the total number of deaths (n = 141) was lower than expected (SMR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94). The SMR for all cancers (n = 44) was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.17), and the SMR for breast cancer (n = 19) was 1.28 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.20). The SMR did not increase with duration of employment. Among men, 170 deaths were observed (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28). The SMR for all cancers (n = 21) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.41, 1.18). The authors found a high number of deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SMR = 40; 95% CI: 28.9, 55.8) and from aircraft accidents among the men. In this cohort, ionizing radiation probably contributed less to the small excess in breast cancer mortality than reproductive risk factors. Occupational causes seem not to contribute strongly to the mortality of airline cabin attendants.”

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/156/6/556.full

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Lung cancer, Smoking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Mortality from Cancer and Other Causes among Airline Cabin Attendants in Germany, 1960–1997

  1. Just makes ya wonder how in the hell the airline stewardesses won a shs court suit!

    The money was used to fund junk science studies for the nazis!

    I suspect a hand picked jury and hand picked judge………
    yOU GUESSED THE 9TH CIRCUS COURT OF APPEALS started the process that ended in a 300 million dollar payoff for some 40 YO lung cancer death…..they said he had lung cancer in post mortem examination but they failed to give what the assay said it was as in type of cancer!
    Bet it wasnt smoker related lung cancer…..lmao!
    They are also looking for young dumb wanna be researchers to waste their names on shs junk science,it appears the old dogs in epidemiology dont want their good names associated with JUNK SCIENCE!

    Young Clinical Scientist Awards Program

    The purpose of the FAMRI Young Clinical Scientist Award (YCSA) Program is to help prepare and support new clinical investigators with a MD or PhD as they begin their careers as independent researchers. The program is limited to the development of young researchers in smoking-related disorders. There are two types of YCSA Awards; one for individuals who are currently faculty members, or who expect to be before the start date of the award (YCSA faculty), and one for individuals who do not expect to become faculty until after the start date of the award (YCSA fellow).
    http://www.famri.org/researchers/current_and_upcoming_awards.html

  2. Guess who the expert in the lawsuit was……….JAMES repace!

  3. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired [ immunodeficiency syndrome] (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human.

    I gather this means the airlines hire way to many gays, probably lowered their sexual harrassment claims considerably, so the airline stewardesses got pissed and brought suit over shs!

    Did anyone bother to do a cost analysis on higher insurance rates due to the high number of aids related work dangers!

  4. Rollo Tommasi says:

    Dave, would you care to explain why this one study you have cherry-picked is more important than the scores of studies which together show that passive smoking is a cause of lung cancer?? It’s not even a proper assessment into the effects of passive smoking. It’s simply comparing the health of cabin crew with the health of the general population. It is not comparing a group of people exposed to SHS with a group of people not exposed.

    These are just some of the reasons the article itself does not conclude that passive smoking does not cause lung cancer.

    Now Dave, since you’ve got time to refer to other dodgy pieces of a-hem, “evidence”. Why don’t you try to bring your earlier Zombie Arguments to life by providing some evidence to justify them. Or, if you can’t, why don’t you agree to put them away and not use them again?

  5. Junican says:

    Rollo,

    Have you got eyesight problems?

    “” “We found a rather remarkably low SMR for lung cancer among female cabin attendants and no increase for male cabin attendants, indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group. Smoking during airplane flights was permitted in Germany until the mid-1990s, and smoking is still not banned on all charter flights.” “”

    “” indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group “”

    How simple is that to understand? Exposure – lots of – no effect. Right?

    The more I read about these studies into SHS, the more convinced I become that only the “null” hypotheses have any merit, especially as regards studies commissioned by ASH and their paymasters.

    “”HEADLINE:
    “”GERMAN STUDY INTO AIRCREW REVEALS NO EFFECT FROM SHS””

    Why have we not seen that headline? Could the study have been supressed?

  6. Rollo Tommasi says:

    Junican – Have you got eyesight problems?

    As I said, the study was not designed to assess the level of harm caused by passive smoking. It’s simply comparing the health of cabin crew with the health of the general population. Your own quote makes it clear. “Smoking and exposure to passive smoking MAY NOT PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MORTALITY IN THIS GROUP”. Their risk was assessed against the general population, not against people not exposed to SHS. The study did not look into the amount of exposure these people had outside of their work in planes.

    Oh, and you ignored the other important point I made: why should this one cherry-picked study be considered more important than the scores of studies which together show that passive smoking is a cause of lung cancer??

    You ask why you’ve not seen that particular headline. Needless to say, like a true conspiracy theorist, your first thought is that the study was suppressed. The actual answer is different. It is that the study did NOT reveal that SHS is harmless.

  7. Rose says:

    What I find interesting is that after bans are imposed, underlying causes of illness formerly attributed to passive smoking become plain to see.

    Illness among cabin crew heightens toxic air fears

    Fresh concerns have been raised over whether passengers could be inhaling contaminated air on planes

    “A survey of pilots and crew has found alarmingly high levels of illnesses they have contracted since beginning work for airlines”

    One in seven of the 789 British airline staff surveyed had to take more than a month’s sick leave in the previous year. One in 23 was diagnosed with cancer, even though the average age of those surveyed was around 40. According to Cancer Research, one in 34 Britons will contract cancer at some point, but for those under 44, the figure falls to one in 200.

    One in 20 of those surveyed reported being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The charity SupportME says the incidence of CFS in Britain is normally around one in 1,000. A further 20 per cent of those surveyed were diagnosed with depression – the national average is 8 to 12 per cent, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

    The reports, seen by Telegraph Travel, also reveal high levels of miscarriages, thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, cholesterol, pneumonia, bronchitis and IBS. Campaigners claim that the high levels of illness are the result of toxic engine fumes contaminating the air in cabins, and say this has implications for passenger safety and the health of frequent fliers.

    Scientists have claimed that toxins enter the cabin as a result of the “bleed air” system used on modern aircraft. Air is drawn out of the compression section of the engine and cooled. It then enters the cabin, where it mixes with recirculated air that has passed through filters designed to remove bacteria and viruses.

    These “recirculated air” filters do not remove fumes or vapours from the engine, so if engine oil or hydraulic fuel leaks, toxic chemicals can contaminate the air supply.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/5849374/Illness-among-cabin-crew-heightens-toxic-air-fears.html

    From the passengers point of view

    Does the air in planes make you sick?
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article3152210.ece

    Like the mass experiment with NRT, with a failure rate of 98.4% proved once and for all that nicotine could not be considered addictive.
    Though obviously I disapprove of forcing people into actions they would not otherwise have taken through smoking bans, the evidence these human experiments provide can prove quite enlightening.

  8. Pingback: What do you think of NPR? - Page 36

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s