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Lung cancer development in primary smelter workers: a nested case-referent study.

Journal article
Authors Nils-Göran Lundström
Vagn Englyst
Lars Gerhardsson
Taiyi Jin
Gunnar Nordberg
Published in Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume 48
Issue 4
Pages 376-80
ISSN 1076-2752
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 376-80
Language en
Keywords Arsenic Poisoning, epidemiology, Case-Control Studies, Causality, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Inhalation Exposure, analysis, statistics & numerical data, Lead Poisoning, blood, epidemiology, Logistic Models, Lung Neoplasms, epidemiology, Male, Metallurgy, statistics & numerical data, Models, Statistical, Occupational Diseases, blood, epidemiology, Occupational Exposure, analysis, statistics & numerical data, Smoking, epidemiology, Survival Analysis, Sweden, epidemiology
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to study the impact of work-related exposure to mainly arsenic and lead versus smoking in primary smelter workers developing lung cancer. METHODS: In a cohort of 3979 primary smelter workers, 46 subjects had contracted respiratory malignancies. They were compared with 141 age-matched male referents by conditional logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Cases showed a significantly higher smoking rate as compared with referents: odds ratio (OR) = 4.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.6-10.1; P = 0.003. When restricted to smokers (33 cases, 63 referents), the cumulative air arsenic exposure index, but not the lead exposure indices, was significantly higher among the cases: OR = 1.07; 95% CI = 1.02-1.11; P = 0.005. CONCLUSIONS: Cumulative arsenic exposure and smoking were identified as risk factors for the development of lung cancer; lead exposure, however, was not.

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