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Occupational History and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: The Multiethnic Cohort

Maskarinec, Gertraud; Erber, Eva; Lim, Unhee; Kolonel, Laurence N.

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362227.41178.f4
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations

Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, United States.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background and Objective:

Employment in some industries, e.g., farming, and printing, has been associated with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), possibly due to exposure to hazardous chemicals or infectious agents. The objective of this analysis was to explore the relation of occupational history with NHL risk within the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC).

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The MEC was established in Hawaii and Los Angeles during 1993-96. After excluding individuals who did not meet study criteria, 87,079 men and 105,972 women of African-American, Caucasian, Japanese, Latino, and Native Hawaiian ancestry, aged 45-75 years, were part of the analysis. All subjects completed a self-administered questionnaire at cohort entry that asked about 9 occupational categories and 13 industries/occupations in which subjects worked 10 years or longer. By 2003, 514 male and 425 female NHL cases were diagnosed. We applied Cox regression with age as the time metric while adjusting for potential confounders.

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The number of NHL cases who reported working in the different industries was small: 27 were laborers/farmworkers, 42 were craftspersons, and 91 were factory workers, while 525 cases reported office-based occupations. None of the associations with NHL was statistically significant. Compared to all others, the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for farming and pesticide production combined was HR = 0.87 (95% CI: 0.60-1.25). The respective HRs for workers in industries exposed to chemicals (textile, plastic, gasoline, chemicals, rubber, paint) and for those reporting other industries (metal production, mining, shipyard, woodworking) were 0.83 (95% CI: 0.63-1.09) and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.73-1.25). Stratification by ethnicity did not result in any significant associations for any ethnic group.

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We detected no association between NHL and employment in industries with potential exposure to hazardous substances. However, the small number of NHL cases per category and the lack of job details and actual exposures limited this analysis.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.