Death rates among Italian Railroad employees : terminal progress report
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Death rates among Italian Railroad employees : terminal progress report

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      A 10 year followup mortality study was conducted of 172,459 men working on the Italian Railroad system. All causes of death were evaluated, with specific attention given to myocardial infarction and sudden death as related to physical activity at work. During the 10 year period a total of 9,759 deaths occurred. Cardiovascular diseases accounted for about 37 percent of the total mortality and were the major single cause of death. Findings did not differ from that expected for the overall Italian male population of the same age for this time period. A significant excess of mortality was noted among sedentary versus moderate workers and in heavy versus moderate workers when considering the middle aged group of workers. The author concludes that strenuous physical activity connected with work seems to be a protective factor against early mortality from cardiovascular heart disease. Men, after retirement, maintain approximately the same amount of physical activity in their lives as they had done when they were working. Only a moderate activity level at work does not appear to be sufficient to afford protection from early cardiovascular heart disease. "A cohort of 172,459 males aged 20-65 employed in the Italian Railroad system, at work on April 1st 1963 have been classified by habitual physical activity at work and followed-up for death along a 10 year period. Crude total mortality has been 56.59 per 1000 in 10 years. No significant differences have been shown between sedentary, moderate and heavy workers. Age corrected death rates for coronary heart disease, as manifested by myocardial infarction and sudden coronary death, were substantially different in the three activity groups, with moderate workers ranking first, sedentary workers lying in between but very close to the former, and heavy workers having the lowest rate. The age corrected rates for all ages were 12.55, 14.18 and 7.63 per 1000 in 10 years respectively. All differences were statistically significant, the mortality ratio between sedentary moderate workers versus heavy workers being of the order of 1.75 to 1. Such protection seems to be maintained also after retirement. (Grant No. R01-OH-00362)." - NIOSHTIC-2 NIOSH no. 00071493
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