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Occupation and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: A Population-Based Case–Control Study in Iowa

Zhang, Yawei MD, PhD; Cantor, Kenneth P. PhD; Lynch, Charles F. MD, PhD; Zhu, Yong PhD; Zheng, Tongzhang MD, ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2005 - Volume 47 - Issue 4 - p 392-398
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000158707.88801.f5
Original Articles
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Objective: Previous epidemiological studies have inconsistently linked various occupations and industries to pancreatic cancer risk.

Methods: We analyzed data from a population-based case–control study conducted in Iowa involving 376 histologically confirmed incident pancreatic cancer cases and 2434 control subjects.

Results: A significantly increased risk was observed among men who worked in the following industries: chemical and allied products, transportation, and elementary and secondary schools. Increased risks also were observed in men who were employed as truck drivers; railroad brake, signal, and switch operators; purchasing agents and buyers; teachers; insurance agents; and retail supervisors. Among women, a significantly increased risk of pancreatic cancer was found for employment in furniture and home furnishing stores, and a borderline significantly increased risk among textile sewing machine operators and tenders.

Conclusions: Working in several occupations and industries was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in this study, and these associations warrant further investigation.

From the Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Zhang, Dr Zhu, Dr Zheng); Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Cantor); and Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, Iowa (Dr Lynch).

Address correspondence to: Dr Tongzhang Zheng, 60 College Street, Room 442, New Haven, CT 06520; E-mail: tongzhang.zheng@yale.edu.

©2005The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine