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377 Occupation and risk of lymphoid and myeloid leukemia in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)
  1. F Saberi Hosnijeh1,
  2. Christopher1,
  3. Peeters2,
  4. Romieu3,
  5. Xun4,
  6. Riboli4,
  7. Raaschou-Nielsen5,
  8. Tjønneland5,
  9. Becker6,
  10. Nieters7,
  11. Trichopoulou8,
  12. Bamia8,
  13. Orfanos9,
  14. Oddone10,
  15. Luján-Barroso11,
  16. Dorronsoro12,
  17. Navarro13,
  18. Barricarte14,
  19. Molina-Montes15,
  20. Wareham16,
  21. Vineis4,
  22. Vermeulen1
  1. 1Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 34International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
  4. 4Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
  5. 5Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. 6DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  7. 7University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  8. 8University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
  9. 9Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece
  10. 10Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  11. 11Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Barcelona, Spain
  12. 12Basque Regional Health Department and Biodonostia, Ciberesp, Spain
  13. 13Murcia Regional Health Authority, Murica, Spain
  14. 14Navarre Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain
  15. 15Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada, Spain
  16. 16Medical Research Council, Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom


Objectives Established risk factors of leukemia do not explain the majority of leukemia cases. Previous studies have suggested the importance of occupation and related exposures in leukemogenesis. We evaluated possible associations between job title and selected hazardous agents and leukemia in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Methods The mean follow-up time for 241,465 subjects was 11.20 years (SD: 2.42 years). During the follow-up period, 477 incident cases of myeloid and lymphoid leukemia occurred. Data on 52 occupations considered a priori to be at high risk for developing cancer were collected through standardized questionnaires. Occupational exposures were estimated by linking the reported occupations to a Job exposure matrix. Cox proportional hazard models were used to explore the association between occupation and related exposures and risk of leukemia.

Results Risk of lymphoid leukemia significantly increased for working in chemical laboratories (HR = 8.35, 95% CI = 1.58–44.24), while the risk of myeloid leukemia increased for working in the shoes or other leather goods industry (HR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.28–5.06). Exposure specific analyses showed a non-significant increased risk of myeloid leukemias for exposure to benzene (HR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.75–1.40; HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 0.95–2.69 for the low and high exposure categories respectively). This association was present both for acute and chronic myeloid leukemia at high exposure levels. However, numbers were too small to reach statistical significance.

Conclusion Our findings suggest a possible role of occupational exposures in development of both lymphoid and myeloid leukemia. Exposure to benzene seemed to be associated with both acute and chronic myeloid leukemia.

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