Half-century archives of occupational medical data on French nuclear workers: a dusty warehouse or gold mine for epidemiological research?

Publié le 1 December 2014
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

This article discusses the availability and completeness of medical data on workers from the AREVA NC Pierrelatte nuclear plant and their possible use in epidemiological research on cardiovascular and metabolic disorders related to internal exposure to uranium. We created a computer database from files on 394 eligible workers included in an ongoing nested case-control study from a larger cohort of 2897 French nuclear workers. For each worker, we collected records of previous employment, job positions, job descriptions, medical visits, and blood test results from medical history. The dataset counts 9,471 medical examinations and 12,735 blood test results. For almost all of the parameters relevant for research on cardiovascular risk, data completeness and availability is over 90%, but it varies with time and improves in the latest time period. In the absence of biobanks, collecting and computerising available good-quality occupational medicine archive data constitutes a valuable alternative for epidemiological and aetiological research in occupational health. Biobanks rarely contain biological samples over an entire worker's carrier and medical data from nuclear industry archives might make up for unavailable biomarkers that could provide information on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Auteur : Garsi JP, Samson E, Chablais L, Zhivin S, Niogret C, Laurier D, Guseva Canu I
Archives of industrial hygiene and toxicology, 2014, vol. 65, n°. 4, p. 407-16