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Occup Environ Med 60:570-576 doi:10.1136/oem.60.8.570
  • Original article

Occupations with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in the Swedish population

  1. J Alguacil1,
  2. M Pollán2,
  3. P Gustavsson3
  1. 1Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Stockholm Centre for Public Health, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Pollán, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Sinesio Delgado, 6, 28029 Madrid, Spain; 
 mpollan{at}isciii.es
  • Accepted 27 September 2002

Abstract

Aims: To identify occupations with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in the Swedish population gainfully employed in 1970 over the period 1971–89.

Methods: The base population was made up of Swedish men (1 779 646) and Swedish women (1 101 669) gainfully employed at the time of the 1970 census and were still alive and over age 24 on 1 January 1971. Information was drawn from two data sets: the Swedish cancer environment register and a background population register. After 19 years of follow up, 4420 men and 2143 women were diagnosed with histologically confirmed incident pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Log linear Poisson models were fitted, allowing for geographical area and town size. Risk estimators were also calculated for workers reporting the same occupation in 1960 and 1970.

Results: Among women, a statistically significant risk excess of pancreatic cancer was observed for “educational methods advisors”, “librarian, archivist, curator”, “motor vehicle driver”, “typographer, lithographer”, “purser, steward, stewardess”, “other housekeeping and related workers”, and the groups of occupations of “electrical, electronic, and related” and “glass, pottery, and tile workers”. Men showed a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer among “technical assistants”, “travelling agents”, “other metal processing workers”, “baker and pastry cook”, “docker and freight handler”, and “waiters”.

Conclusions: This study does not indicate that occupational factors play an important role in the aetiology of pancreatic cancer in Sweden. Few occupations were at increased risk of pancreatic cancer in both men and women, and the associations observed are in accordance with some previous studies from Western countries.

Footnotes