<h4>Background</h4>Occupational exposures in mining and oil/gas extraction are known risk factors for thoracic malignancies (TMs). Given the relatively high proportion of these industries in New Mexico (NM), we conducted a feasibility study of adult lifetime occupational history among TM cases. We hypothesized a higher proportion of occupational TM in NM relative to the estimated national average of 10-14%.<h4>Methods</h4>We identified incident TM cases through the population-based New Mexico Tumor Registry (NMTR), from 2017-2018. Cases completed a telephone interview. An adjudication panel reviewed case histories and classified cancers as probable, possible, or non-occupational related, taking into account the presence, duration, and latency of exposures. We characterized recruitment and describe job titles and exposures among those with occupational TMs. We also compared the distributions of industry between those with and without occupational TM.<h4>Results</h4>The NMTR identified 400 eligible TM cases, 290 of which were available to be recruited (n=285 lung/bronchial cancer; n=5 mesotheliomas). Of the latter, 60% refused and 18% were deceased, 9% had invalid addresses, 11% were unable to be reached by telephone, and 3% were too ill to participate. The 43 cases who completed an interview held 236 jobs. A total of 33% of cases were classified as probable occupational TM and 5% as possible occupational TM.<h4>Conclusions</h4>High rates of early mortality and refusals were significant barriers to study participation. Nonetheless, the proportion of probable occupational TMs greatly exceeded the estimated national average, highlighting the need for further study of occupational TM in the state.
Southwest J Pulm Crit Care (Southwest journal of pulmonary & critical care)
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