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Lung cancer risk among bakers, pastry cooks and confectionary makers: the SYNERGY study
  1. Thomas Behrens1,
  2. Benjamin Kendzia1,
  3. Tabea Treppmann1,
  4. Ann Olsson2,3,
  5. Karl-Heinz Jöckel4,
  6. Per Gustavsson3,
  7. Hermann Pohlabeln5,
  8. Wolfgang Ahrens5,6,
  9. Irene Brüske7,
  10. Hans-Erich Wichmann7,
  11. Franco Merletti8,
  12. Dario Mirabelli8,
  13. Lorenzo Richiardi8,
  14. Lorenzo Simonato9,
  15. David Zaridze10,
  16. Neonila Szeszenia-Dabrowska11,
  17. Peter Rudnai12,
  18. Jolanta Lissowska13,
  19. Eleonora Fabianova14,
  20. Adonina Tardón15,
  21. John Field16,
  22. Rodica Stanescu Dumitru17,
  23. Vladimir Bencko18,
  24. Lenka Foretova19,
  25. Vladimir Janout20,
  26. Jack Siemiatycki21,
  27. Marie-Elise Parent22,
  28. John McLaughlin23,
  29. Paul Demers23,
  30. Maria Teresa Landi24,
  31. Neil Caporaso24,
  32. Hans Kromhout25,
  33. Roel Vermeulen25,
  34. Susan Peters25,26,
  35. Simone Benhamou27,
  36. Isabelle Stücker28,29,
  37. Florence Guida28,29,
  38. Dario Consonni30,
  39. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita31,
  40. Andrea ‘t Mannetje32,
  41. Neil Pearce33,
  42. Lap Ah Tse34,
  43. Ignatius Tak-sun Yu34,
  44. Nils Plato3,
  45. Paolo Boffetta35,36,
  46. Kurt Straif2,
  47. Joachim Schüz2,
  48. Beate Pesch1,
  49. Thomas Brüning1
  1. 1Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance (IPA) Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  2. 2International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France
  3. 3Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany
  5. 5Leibniz-Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS GmbH, Bremen, Germany
  6. 6Institute for Statistics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  7. 7Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany
  8. 8Cancer Epidemiology Unit, CPO-Piemonte and University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  9. 9Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  10. 10Institute of Carcinogenesis, Russian Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russia
  11. 11The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland
  12. 12National Institute of Environmental Health, Budapest, Hungary
  13. 13The M Sklodowska-Curie Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
  14. 14Regional Authority of Public Health, Preventive Occupational Medicine, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
  15. 15Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer Unit, University of Oviedo-Ciber de Epidemiologia, CIBERESP, Oviedo, Spain
  16. 16Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme, Cancer Research Centre, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  17. 17National Institute of Public Health, Bucharest, Romania
  18. 18Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  19. 19Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Brno, Czech Republic
  20. 20Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  21. 21University of Montreal, Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM) and School of Public Health, Montreal, Canada
  22. 22INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Université du Québec, Laval, Québec, Canada
  23. 23Cancer Care Ontario, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Toronto, Canada
  24. 24National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Bethesda, USA
  25. 25Environmental Epidemiology Division, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  26. 26Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  27. 27INSERM U 946, Paris, France
  28. 28Inserm, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), U1018, Environmental Epidemiology of Cancer Team, F-94807, Villejuif, France
  29. 29University Paris-Sud, UMRS 1018, F-94807, Villejuif, France
  30. 30Unit of Epidemiology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
  31. 31The National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection, Center for Nutrition and Health, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  32. 32Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  33. 33Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  34. 34Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  35. 35The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
  36. 36The International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thomas Behrens, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance (IPA) Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, Bochum 44789, Germany; behrens{at}


Introduction Some studies have suggested increased lung cancer risks among bakers, however the results overall were inconsistent. The authors studied lung cancer risks among bakers and baking-related occupations in the SYNERGY pooled case–control database from 16 countries.

Methods Occupation in a baking-related job was identified from the subjects’ job histories. ORs adjusted for log(age), study centre, smoking behaviour and ever employment in a job with known exposure to occupational lung carcinogens were calculated by unconditional logistic regression. Findings were stratified by sex, histological subtype of lung cancer and smoking status.

Results 19 366 cases (15 606 men) and 23 670 control subjects (18 528 men) were included. 473 cases (415 men, 58 women) and 501 controls (437 men, 64 women) had ever worked in baking or a related job. We did not observe an increased risk for men in baking (OR 1.01; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.18). No linear trends were observed for duration of employment. Some results suggested increased lung cancer risks for women, for example, for working as a baker for >30 years and in never-smokers, but after exclusion of one study these increased risks disappeared.

Discussion The findings from this study do not suggest increased lung cancer risks in baking-related professions.

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