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Standardized Mortality Analysis of Military Firefighters from 2000-2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rosanna Vilardo Mannarino1 and Gina Torres Rego Monteiro2

1General Health Executive, Military Firefight Department of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

2Department of Epidemiology and Quantitative Methods, ENSP/FIOCRUZ.

Corresponding author: Rosanna Vilardo Mannarino, 1General Health Executive, Military Firefight Department of the State of Rio de Janeiro, E-mail:


Backgrounds: A military fireman’s profession is of extreme importance since they perform a wide variety of work. However, these firefighters are constantly exposed to stressful situations and hazardous substances known to harm their health. To fully perform their functions, they should have good physical and mental health, which requires them to have periodic medical examinations and constant training. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study assessing the causes of mortality of members of the military fire brigade of Rio de Janeiro despite its relevance to future projections in relation to the health of these professionals.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective mortality study on a cohort of military firefighters in the state of Rio de Janeiro from 2000 to 2016 and calculated the Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) of male firefighters who served in the corporation in this period. To obtain the SMR, everyone’s participation time in years in the corporation was calculated, and the sum of the data set the person-time of this cohort. As a reference, we used the population of men over 19 years old in the state of Rio de Janeiro in 2010 according to the Demographic Census.
Results: A total of 1,816 deaths were identified, corresponding to the lowest overall mortality expected for the general population (SMR: 64.6%; 95%CI: 61.6-67.6%), cardiovascular diseases (SMR: 64.4%; 95%CI: 58.8-69.9%) and external causes of mortality (SMR: 88.5%; 95%CI: 79.9-97.0%). However, in the external causes of death, there was a statistically significant mortality excess in the age groups from 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 years.

Conclusion: The firefighters’ group had the lowest overall mortality detected in both the general and the main chapters of the 10th Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. This result corroborates the importance of intensifying the use of protective equipment of firefighters and the collection of periodic health check-ups and targeted attention to activities performed outside the work environment and in the retirement period.
Keywords: Firefighters, Mortality Registries, Mortality, Occupational mortality, External causes.