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Free Content Prostate Cancer in Pilots

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BACKGROUND: Aviation exposes pilots to various occupationally related hazards, including ionizing radiation and chemical combustion. The possibility of increased prostate cancer incidence and mortality among pilots is a subject of debate. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to summarize the supporting evidence and determine the magnitude of association.

METHODS: All studies reporting prostate cancer incidence and mortality in pilots compared to the general population were included regardless of language or size. The comprehensive search included multiple databases and manual search. A random effect model was used to pool relative risks (RR) across studies.

RESULTS: The final search yielded nine studies with good methodological quality. Four studies reported the incidence of prostate cancer while six reported on mortality. Pilots had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer [RR 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08-1.33], but not in prostate cancer mortality (RR 1.20; 95% CI, 0.91-1.60).

CONCLUSION: Pilots appear to have a very small increase in prostate cancer incidence, but not in mortality. The clinical significance of this finding is uncertain.

Raslau D, Abu Dabrh AM, Summerfield DT, Wang Z, Steinkraus LW, Murad MH. Prostate cancer in pilots. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2016; 87(6):565–570.

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Keywords: aviation; incidence; mortality; pilots; prostate cancer

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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