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Association Between Polymorphisms of Metabolic Enzyme Genes and Chromosomal Damage in Benzene-Exposed Workers in China

Fang, Yan MD; Wu, Han-Tian MD; Ye, Yun-Jie MD; Zhou, Li-Fang MD; Hu, Wei PhD; Zhang, Guang-Hui PhD, MD; Sun, Pin PhD, MD; Au, William PhD; Xia, Zhao-Lin PhD, MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 11 - p e215–e220
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001148
Original Articles

Objective: To provide better understanding of genetic susceptibility for health risk among current benzene-exposed workers.

Methods: Four hundred sixty one benzene-exposed workers and 88 matched controls were recruited, and their benzene exposure doses were monitored. Associations between genetic susceptibility for polymorphisms of metabolic enzymes CYP2E1 and NQO1, and expression of cytokinesis-block micronucleus (MN) were investigated.

Results: Mean MN frequency in the exposed workers was significantly higher than that in the control group (P < 0.01). Individuals with the NQO1609 CC genotype showed significantly higher MN frequencies than those with the TT genotype (P < 0.05) in either single- or multiple-factor analyses. Age was an effect modifier for elevated MN frequency, while sex, smoking, and alcohol consumption had no relationship.

Conclusion: Exposure to low dose of benzene among current workers can still cause health risk, especially among those with the NQO1609 CC genotype.

Department of Occupational Health and Toxicology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Key Laboratory of Public Health and Safety of Ministry of Education of China (Drs Fang, Wu, Ye, Zhou, Zhang, Sun, Xia); Department of Community Collaboration, Shanghai Changning District Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Ms Fang); Department of Chronic Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai Putuo District Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Wu), Shanghai; Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (Dr Hu), MD; Department of Preventive Medicine, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou (Dr Au), China.

Address correspondence to: Zhao-Lin Xia, PhD, MD, School of Public Health, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China (

Dr Fang, Dr Wu, Dr Ye, Dr Zhou have contributed equally to this work.

Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 81474929), the 973 program of China (2011CB503801).

Contributors: All the partners who took part in this manuscript have been enrolled as coauthors.

Ethics approval: The study's protocol was approved by the local ethics committee (Research Ethics Review Board of School of Public Health, Fudan University). Written informed consent was obtained from each Individual.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine