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Occurrences of Leukemia Subtypes by Socioeconomic and Occupational Groups in Sweden

Ji, Jianguang MD; Hemminki, Kari MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2005 - Volume 47 - Issue 11 - p 1131-1140
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000174302.63621.e8
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the associations between socioeconomic/occupational factors and histologic subtypes of leukemia.

Methods: The Swedish Family-Cancer Database was used to calculate standardized incidence ratios for different social classes and occupational groups.

Results: The overall standardized incidence ratio was close to unity between different socioeconomic groups, except for female manual workers with a significantly decreased risk. Among male occupations, increased risks were noted for sales agents, seamen, and chemical process workers. For female occupations, increased risks were observed among mechanics, iron and metalware workers, hairdressers, and launderers and dry cleaners.

Conclusions: The present study suggests that socioeconomic/occupational factors have a minor effect on the risk of leukemia. Occupational groups with possible exposure to organic solvents and other chemicals such as chemical process workers, mechanics, iron and metalware workers, and launderers and dry cleaners may entail true risk for leukemia.

From the Department of Bioscience at Novum, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden (Dr Ji); and the Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany (Drs Ji and Hemminki).

Address correspondence to: Jianguang Ji, MD, Department of Bioscience at Novum, Karolinska Institute, 141 57 Huddinge, Sweden; E-mail:

©2005The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine