STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risk of mortality from lymphatic and haematopoietic cancers and other causes among students. DESIGN: The study used school records, yearbooks, and Texas Department of Health records for the school years 1963-64 to 1992-93 to construct a cohort of 15,403 students. Three mortality databases were searched to identify deaths, and mortality rates in the cohort were compared with mortality rates from the United States and Texas. Computed standardised mortality ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used. SETTING: Eastern Texas high school adjacent to facilities that have been producing synthetic styrene-butadiene since 1943. MAIN RESULTS: 338 deaths were identified. The all causes standardised mortality ratio was 0.84 (95% confidence intervals 0.74, 0.95) for men and 0.89 (0.73, 1.09) for women. The standardised mortality ratio for all lymphatic and haematopoietic cancers was 1.64 (95% confidence intervals 0.85, 2.87) for men and 0.47 (0.06, 1.70) for women. The slight male excess in lymphatic and haematopoietic cancers was stronger among men who attended school for two years or less. CONCLUSIONS: The overall mortality from lymphatic and haematopoietic cancer among the students was little different from that of the United States as a whole. A moderate excess for men, predominantly among the shorter-term students, was offset by a deficit among women. These variations are compatible with random fluctuations; the overall pattern is not indicative of an effect of environmental exposure sustained while attending the high school.
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