Vitamin A and cancer prevention I: observations in workers previously exposed to asbestos at Wittenoom, Western Australia

Arthur Musk, Nicholas De Klerk, Gina Ambrosini, J.L. Eccles, J. Hansen, Nola Olsen, V.L. Watts, Helen Lund, S.C. Pang, J. Beilby, Michael Hobbs

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Abstract

Our aim was to describe a vitamin A-based cancer prevention program for former asbestos workers and to check for possible harmful effects by comparing rates of disease and death in study subjects with subjects who chose not to join, All subjects had been occupationally exposed to crocidolite at Wittenoom Gorge between 1943 and 1966; 1,677 subjects indicated interest in the program and 1,203 joined between lune 1990 and May 1995. Comparison subjects consisted of 996 former workers known to be alive in Western Australia in 1990 who did not join the program, Program subjects were provided with annual supplies of vitamin A (either synthetic beta-carotene or retinol), help in quitting smoking and dietary advice. The comparison group received only mail contact, Both groups were followed up to December 1994 for vital status and cancer information, and rates of cancer and death from various causes were compared, Mortality in both groups was higher than expected (standardised mortality ratio 1.23 in program subjects and 1.67 in comparison subjects). After adjustment for age, smoking and asbestos exposure, the relative rates in participants compared with non-participants was below 1 for all examined cancers and causes of death, For mesothelioma and lung cancer, group differences increased with time from entry, whereas other differences dissipated with time. No significant side effects were reported, In conclusion, program participants had significantly lower mortality than non-participants, but the rates of the 2 groups converged with time. (C) 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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Western Australia
Asbestos
Vitamin A
Mortality
Neoplasms
Cause of Death
Smoking
Crocidolite Asbestos
Mesothelioma
beta Carotene
Postal Service
Lung Neoplasms

Cite this

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title = "Vitamin A and cancer prevention I: observations in workers previously exposed to asbestos at Wittenoom, Western Australia",
abstract = "Our aim was to describe a vitamin A-based cancer prevention program for former asbestos workers and to check for possible harmful effects by comparing rates of disease and death in study subjects with subjects who chose not to join, All subjects had been occupationally exposed to crocidolite at Wittenoom Gorge between 1943 and 1966; 1,677 subjects indicated interest in the program and 1,203 joined between lune 1990 and May 1995. Comparison subjects consisted of 996 former workers known to be alive in Western Australia in 1990 who did not join the program, Program subjects were provided with annual supplies of vitamin A (either synthetic beta-carotene or retinol), help in quitting smoking and dietary advice. The comparison group received only mail contact, Both groups were followed up to December 1994 for vital status and cancer information, and rates of cancer and death from various causes were compared, Mortality in both groups was higher than expected (standardised mortality ratio 1.23 in program subjects and 1.67 in comparison subjects). After adjustment for age, smoking and asbestos exposure, the relative rates in participants compared with non-participants was below 1 for all examined cancers and causes of death, For mesothelioma and lung cancer, group differences increased with time from entry, whereas other differences dissipated with time. No significant side effects were reported, In conclusion, program participants had significantly lower mortality than non-participants, but the rates of the 2 groups converged with time. (C) 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.",
author = "Arthur Musk and {De Klerk}, Nicholas and Gina Ambrosini and J.L. Eccles and J. Hansen and Nola Olsen and V.L. Watts and Helen Lund and S.C. Pang and J. Beilby and Michael Hobbs",
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Vitamin A and cancer prevention I: observations in workers previously exposed to asbestos at Wittenoom, Western Australia. / Musk, Arthur; De Klerk, Nicholas; Ambrosini, Gina; Eccles, J.L.; Hansen, J.; Olsen, Nola; Watts, V.L.; Lund, Helen; Pang, S.C.; Beilby, J.; Hobbs, Michael.

In: International Journal of Cancer, Vol. 75, No. 3, 1998, p. 355-361.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Vitamin A and cancer prevention I: observations in workers previously exposed to asbestos at Wittenoom, Western Australia

AU - Musk, Arthur

AU - De Klerk, Nicholas

AU - Ambrosini, Gina

AU - Eccles, J.L.

AU - Hansen, J.

AU - Olsen, Nola

AU - Watts, V.L.

AU - Lund, Helen

AU - Pang, S.C.

AU - Beilby, J.

AU - Hobbs, Michael

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DO - 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19980130)75:3<355::AID-IJC5>3.0.CO;2-1

M3 - Article

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EP - 361

JO - International Journal of Cancer (Predictive Oncology)

JF - International Journal of Cancer (Predictive Oncology)

SN - 0020-7136

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