Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Occupational exposure to pesticides and prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Anne-Mary Lewis-Mikhael1,2,
  2. Aurora Bueno-Cavanillas1,3,4,
  3. Talia Ofir Guiron1,
  4. Rocío Olmedo-Requena1,3,4,
  5. Miguel Delgado-Rodríguez3,5,
  6. José Juan Jiménez-Moleón1,3,4
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  2. 2Department of Occupational Health and Industrial Medicine, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University
  3. 3CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
  4. 4Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria de Granada (ibs GRANADA), Servicio Andaluz de Salud/Universidad de Granada
  5. 5Department of Preventive Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Jaen
  1. Correspondence to Dr José Juan Jiménez-Moleón, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, Avenida de Madrid, 11, Granada 18071, Spain; jjmoleon{at}


Epidemiological studies on exposure to pesticides and risk of prostate cancer (PC) provide inconsistent results. We aimed to explore various potential sources of heterogeneity not previously assessed and to derive updated risk estimates from homogenous studies. We searched PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases for case–control and cohort studies published from 1985 to April 2014. We assessed the quality of the articles using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Pooled estimates were calculated using random-effects models. Heterogeneity was explored using subset analyses and metaregression. Fifty-two studies were included in the review and 25 in the meta-analysis. No association was found between low exposure to pesticides and PC, but association was significant for high exposure, pooled OR 1.33 (1.02 to 1.63), I2=44.8%, p=0.024. Heterogeneity was explained by a number of variables including method used to assess exposure. Pooled OR was weak and non-significant for studies measuring serum pesticide level, 1.12 (0.74 to 1.50), I2=0.00%, p=0.966. For studies applying self-reporting of exposure, pooled estimate was 1.34 (0.91 to 1.77), I2=0.00%, p=0.493, while a high significant association was detected for grouped exposure assessment, 2.24 (1.36 to 3.11), I2=0.00%, p=0.955. In spite of a weak significant association detected when pooling ORs for high occupational exposure to pesticides, the magnitude of the association was related to the method of exposure assessment used by the original studies. A family history–pesticide exposure interaction was also observed for a number of pesticides.

  • Public health
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Meta-analysis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles