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Occupation and Adult Gliomas in the San Francisco Bay Area

Krishnan, Geetha MPH; Felini, Martha MPH; Carozza, Susan E. PhD; Miike, Rei MPH; Chew, Terri MPH; Wrensch, Margaret PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 6 - p 639-647
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000069245.06498.48

The etiology of gliomas is not well understood. Some jobs might involve sustained and elevated exposures to carcinogens. This study compares lifetime job histories of 879 glioma cases diagnosed between August 1991 to April 1994 and May 1997 to August 1999 in the San Francisco Bay Area and 864 controls. Logistic analyses compared longest and ever held occupations of 1 year or more for all astrocytic and nonastrocytic cases and controls overall with adjustment for age, gender, and ethnicity and separately for men and women. Two-fold or higher or statistically significant elevated odds ratios were found overall and in men among those with longest held occupations, as firefighters, physicians, material moving equipment operators, and janitors; such elevated odds ratios were also observed for longest-held occupations among male motor vehicle operators and personal service workers and female messengers, legal/social service workers, electronic equipment operators, painters, and food processors. Odds ratios of 0.50 or less, but not statistically significant, were found for those with longest held jobs as writers/journalists, biological scientists, paper workers, mechanics, chemists, and photographers/photoprocessors. This study supports previously observed occupational associations and is one of the few studies with sufficient numbers to separately analyze occupations by gender.

From the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, California (Ms Krishnan); University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Dr Felini); Texas A&M University System Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, Bryan, Texas (Dr Carozza); and University of California, San Francisco (Ms Miike, Ms Chew, Dr Wrensch).

Address correspondence to: Margaret Wrensch, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 44 Page St. Suite 503, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94102; e-mail:

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine