(1) Characterize small bowel carcinoid tumor (SBC) as to its clinical features and relationship to occupational exposures. (2) Identify specific industries and occupations that, in this case-control study, seem to confer an increased risk of SBC. (3) Give examples of common denominators that may connect identified types of work with an increased risk of SBC.
Small bowel carcinoid tumor (SBC) is a rare disease of unknown etiology but with an age-, sex-, and place-specific occurrence that may indicate an occupational origin. A European multicenter population-based case-control study was conducted from 1995 through 1997. Incident SBC cases between 35 and 69 years of age (n = 101) were identified, together with 3335 controls sampled from the catchment area of the cases. Histological review performed by a reference pathologist left 99 cases for study; 84 cases and 2070 population controls were interviewed. The industries most closely associated (a twofold or more odds ratio [OR]) with SBC, taking into account a 10-year time lag after exposure were, among women, employment in wholesale industry of food and beverages (OR, 8.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9 to 34.9]) and among men, manufacture of motor vehicle bodies (OR, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.2 to 22.4), footwear (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 0.9 to 16.1), and metal structures (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.0 to 10.4). The identified high-risk occupations with an OR above 2 were shoemakers, structural metal preparers, construction painters and other construction workers, bookkeepers, machine fitters, and welders (men). The OR for regular occupational use of organic solvents for at least half a year was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.0 to 4.2). Exposure to rust-preventive paint containing lead was suggested as another potential occupational exposure (OR, 9.1; 95% CI, 0.8 to 107). This explorative study suggests an association between certain occupational exposures and SBC, but some of these associations could be attributable to chance. All findings should be regarded as tentative.