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Triazine Herbicides and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk in Central California

Young, Heather A. PhD, MPH; Mills, Paul K. PhD; Riordan, Deborah G. MPH; Cress, Rosemary D. DrPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2005 - Volume 47 - Issue 11 - p 1148-1156
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000177044.43959.e8
Original Articles

Objective: We sought to determine whether women with ovarian cancer have increased occupational exposure to triazine herbicides.

Methods: A population-based case–control study of incident cases (n = 256) and random digit-dialed control subjects (n = 1122) was conducted. Participants were administered telephone interviews to obtain agricultural work history. These histories were used with the statewide pesticide usage database to calculate cumulative exposure estimates. The data were analyzed by stratified analysis and unconditional logistic regression techniques.

Results: The analysis of ever versus never occupational exposure to triazines demonstrated that cases were slightly but not significantly more likely to be exposed than control subjects (adjusted odds = 1.34; 95% confidence interval = 0.77–2.33). There was no evidence of a dose–response relationship between triazines and ovarian cancer (P = 0.22).

Conclusions: Considered with previous studies and animal laboratory data, the current evidence is not persuasive as to the presence or absence of an association between ovarian cancer and triazine exposure.

From the The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Washington, DC (Dr Young); and Cancer Registry of Central California/Public Health Institute (Dr Mills, Ms Riordan, Dr Cress) and University of California San Francisco Fresno Medical Education Program (Dr Mills), Fresno, California.

Supported by the California Cancer Research Program (Grant #98-16022) and Consortium of Universities Cosmos Club Foundation Dissertation Research Grant Program.

Address correspondence to: Dr Heather A. Young, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2300 Eye Street, NW, Ross Hall 120A, Washington, DC 20037. E-mail:

©2005The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine