Occupation was evaluated as a potential risk factor for lung cancer as part of a large population based case-control study conducted in the ten urban districts of Shanghai. A total of 733 newly diagnosed cases of male lung cancer and 760 controls selected from the general population was interviewed to obtain lifetime occupational histories and information on smoking and other factors. Of the approximately 25 major industrial titles examined, significantly raised risks, adjusted for smoking, were found for employment in agricultural production (odds ratio (OR) = 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-2.6). A concomitant increase was detected for farmers (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.0-2.5) when 35 major occupational titles were examined. There was a 70% excess among workers in the chemical industry (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 0.9-3.1) and a significant decrease among textile industry workers (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.5-1.0). Raised risks of 30% to 80% were associated with reported job exposures to wood and coal dusts, smoke from burning fuels, and chemical fumes. Employment categories were also examined for 672 cases and 735 controls among women, but small numbers in many of the industrial and occupational categories precluded detailed analyses. The largest excess risk among women (OR = 5.1, 95% CI 1.3-23.5) was among glass products workers. Although cigarette smoking was the dominant cause of lung cancer among men and a significant risk factor among women in Shanghai, these findings suggest the importance of certain workplace exposures and offer leads to occupational carcinogens.
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