Copenhagen Airport Cohort: air pollution, manual baggage handling and health

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Karina Lauenborg Møller, Charlotte Brauer, Sigurd Mikkelsen, Steffen Loft, Erik Bruun Simonsen, Henrik Koblauch Baldvinsson, Stine Hvid Bern, Tine Alkjær, Ole Hertel, Thomas Becker, Karin Helweg-Larsen, Jens Peter Bonde, Lau Caspar Thygesen

PURPOSE: Copenhagen Airport Cohort 1990-2012 presents a unique data source for studies of health effects of occupational exposure to air pollution (ultrafine particles) and manual baggage handling among airport employees. We describe the extent of information in the cohort and in the follow-up based on data linkage to the comprehensive Danish nationwide health registers. In the cohort, all information is linked to the personal identification number that also is used in Denmark Statistics demographic and socioeconomic databases and in the nationwide health registers.

PARTICIPANTS: The cohort covers 69 175 men in unskilled positions. The exposed cohort includes men in unskilled jobs employed at Copenhagen Airport in the period 1990-2012 either as baggage handlers or in other outdoor work. The reference cohort includes men in unskilled jobs working in the greater Copenhagen area.

FINDINGS TO DATE: The cohort includes environmental Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements in Copenhagen Airport, information on job function/task for each calendar year of employment between 1990 and 2012, exposure to air pollution at residence, average weight of baggage lifted per day and lifestyle. By linkage to registers, we retrieved socioeconomic and demographic data and data on healthcare contacts, drug subscriptions, incident cancer and mortality.

FUTURE PLANS: The size of the cohort and the completeness of the register-based follow-up allow a more accurate assessment of the possible health risks of occupational exposure to ultrafine particles and manual baggage handling at airports than in previous studies. We plan to follow the cohort for the incidence of ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, lung and bladder cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and further for associations between heavy manual baggage handling and musculoskeletal disorders.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: number 2012-41-0199.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere012651
JournalB M J Open
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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  • Journal Article

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