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Occupation and renal cell cancer in Central and Eastern Europe
  1. J E Heck1,2,
  2. B Charbotel1,3,
  3. L E Moore4,
  4. S Karami4,
  5. D G Zaridze5,
  6. V Matveev6,
  7. V Janout7,
  8. H Kollárová7,
  9. L Foretova8,
  10. V Bencko9,
  11. N Szeszenia-Dabrowska10,
  12. J Lissowska11,
  13. D Mates12,
  14. G Ferro1,
  15. W-H Chow4,
  16. N Rothman4,
  17. P Stewart4,13,
  18. P Brennan1,
  19. P Boffetta1,14
  1. 1
    International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
  2. 2
    School of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3
    UMRESTTE, Université Lyon 1, Lyon, France
  4. 4
    Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  5. 5
    Institute of Carcinogenesis, Russian N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russia
  6. 6
    Department of Oncourology, Russian N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russia
  7. 7
    Department of Preventive Medicine, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  8. 8
    Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Brno, Czech Republic
  9. 9
    Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
  10. 10
    Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland
  11. 11
    Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Cancer Center and Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
  12. 12
    Institute of Public Health, Bucharest, Romania
  13. 13
    Stewart Exposure Assessments, LLC, Arlington, Virginia, USA
  14. 14
    The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Paolo Boffetta, International Prevention Research Institute, 95 cours Lafayette, 69006 Lyon, France; boffetta{at}


Objective: Central and Eastern Europe has among the highest rates of renal cell cancer worldwide. Few studies have been conducted in these areas to investigate the possible role of occupational exposures in renal cell cancer aetiology. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of renal cell cancer with employment in specific occupations and industries.

Methods: From 1999 to 2003, we conducted a hospital-based case-control study in seven areas of the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Russia. A detailed occupational history was collected from renal cell cancer cases and controls, together with information on potential confounders. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI of cancer risk were calculated for having ever been employed in selected jobs and industries, with follow-up analyses examining duration of employment.

Results: A total of 992 histologically confirmed incident renal cell cancer cases and 1459 controls were included in the analysis. An increased risk of renal cell cancer was observed for workers in agricultural labour and animal husbandry (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.93), particularly among women employed as general farm workers (OR 2.73; 95% CI 1.05 to 7.13). Risk gradients for agricultural work increased with longer employment. An overall increased risk of renal cell cancer was seen among architects and engineers (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.35 to 2.65), and mechanical engineers (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.03 to 2.84).

Conclusions: Our data suggest an association between renal cell cancer and agricultural work, particularly among female workers.

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  • Funding This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.