Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2021 Feb;94(2):285-293. doi: 10.1007/s00420-020-01574-x. Epub 2020 Sep 6.
PURPOSE: The aim was to study mortality due to cardiovascular disease as well as total mortality, among female industrial workers, and the association to occupational noise and shift work.
METHODS: Women from cohorts of soft tissue paper mills (N = 3013) and pulp and paper mills (N = 1483) were merged into one cohort. Job exposure matrices were developed and used for classification of shift work and noise exposure. Every year was classified as shift work excluding nights or shift work including nights. Noise was classified into seven 5 dB(A) bins from < 75 to ≥ 100 dB(A). Mortality from cardiovascular diseases and total mortality during 1956-2013 was calculated as a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) using the female general population as a reference.
RESULTS: Fatal myocardial infarctions (N = 144) were increased in the total cohort, SMR 1.20 (95% CI 1.01-1.41) but not total mortality. The SMR for myocardial infarction for women exposed to noise ≥ 90 dB(A) for > 10 years was 1.41 (95% CI 1.02-1.89) and for those exposed to night shifts > 10 years, 1.33 (95% CI 0.91-1.89). Shift workers without nights ≤ 65 years, with noise exposure ≥ 90 dB(A), had SMR 2.41 (95% CI 1.20-4.31) from myocardial infarction. There was no increased mortality from cerebrovascular disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Female paper mill workers had an increased mortality from acute myocardial infarction, especially before retirement age, when exposed to noise ≥ 90 dB(A) and with long-time employment. Exposure to shift work and noise usually occurred concurrently.