All causes and cancer mortality of 58320 workers employed at the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) between 1946 and 1994 was compared with that of the general population in a retrospective cohort study.
Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMR) were computed with reference to the French national population
4809 deaths occurred between 1968 and 1994. A Healthy Worker Effect is observed for men (SMR=0.57 CI90%=[0.56;0.59]) and for women (SMR=0.72 CI90%=[0.67;0.77]). 9 sites of cancer death were found to be in statistically significant deficit among men, none among women. An excess of pleural cancers is observed among men (SMR=1.79, CI90%=[1.27;2.45]) and of malignant melanoma (SMR=1.50, CI90%=[1.04;2.11]). An excess of breast cancer is observed among women on the borderline of significance (SMR=1.14, CI90%=[0.94; 1.37]).
Excesses observed will have to be related to occupational exposures in the on-going cohort study on French nuclear workers which includes a retrospective exposures assessment.