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A cohort study of banana plantation workers in the French West Indies: first mortality analysis (2000-2015)

Abstract : Chlordecone, an organochlorine insecticide, was widely used in the French West Indies banana plantations. We set up a cohort of banana plantation workers who worked between 1973 and 1993, the period of authorized use of chlordecone. Vital status and causes of death were collected from French national registries. Workers were followed up from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2015. Cause-specific mortality in the cohort was compared to that of the general population of the French West Indies by computing standardized mortality ratios (SMRs). A total of 11,112 workers (149,526 person-years, 77% men) were included in the mortality analysis, and 3647 deaths occurred over the study period. There was a slight deficit in all-cause mortality, which was statistically significant in men (SMR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.96), but not in women (SMR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.89-1.04). All-cancer mortality did not differ significantly from that of the general population (men SMR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.90-1.03; women SMR = 1.04, 95% CI 0.89-1.21). Significant excesses of deaths were observed for stomach cancer in women (SMR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.24-2.89) and pancreatic cancer in women farm owners (SMR = 2.31, 95% CI 1.06-4.39). Mortality from prostate cancer was similar to that of the general population in the whole cohort (SMR = 1.00; 95% CI 0.89-1.13) and non-significantly elevated among farm workers (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.87-1.36). Non-significant increases in mortality were also observed for lung cancer in women, leukemia in men, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both genders.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 24, 2020 - 7:59:21 PM
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Daniele Luce, Julien Dugas, Amandine Vaidie, Leah Michineau, Mounia El-Yamani, et al.. A cohort study of banana plantation workers in the French West Indies: first mortality analysis (2000-2015). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2020, 27 (33), pp.41014-41022. ⟨10.1007/s11356-019-06481-4⟩. ⟨hal-02355983⟩



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