Background Exposure to high molecular weight agents, such as those associated with organic dust, has shown an inverse association with lymphoma risk. In this paper, we used the data base of the multicentre European case-control study EPILYMPH to explore risk of lymphoma subtypes associated with occupational exposure to six different types of organic dust.
Methods During 1998–2004, a case-control study on the aetiology of lymphoma was conducted in six European countries. Overall, assessment of exposure to organic dust was completed in 1941 cases and 1992 controls. Risk of the major lymphoma subtypes associated with exposure to any organic dust, flour dust, hardwood, softwood, leather and natural and artificial textile fibres was calculated with unconditional logistic regression analysis, adjusting by age, gender, education and study centre.
Results Risk of B-cell lymphoma associated with exposure to any organic dust was inverse (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.3–1.0), with a significant inverse trend by duration and intensity of exposure. The inverse association was strongest for exposure to flour and wood dust, independent on whether hardwood or softwood. The inverse association was likewise observed ifor diffuse large B cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Conclusions Our results appear to confirm an inverse association of risk of the major lymphoma subtypes with exposure to organic dust, and aprticularly with flour dust and wood dust.
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