Treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma are associated with large relative risks of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but there are few estimates of the excess absolute risk (EAR), a useful measure of disease burden. One-year Hodgkin lymphoma survivors (N = 35,511) were identified within 14 population-based cancer registries in Nordic countries and North America from January 1, 1970, through December 31, 2001. We used Poisson regression analysis to model the EAR of AML, per 10,000 person-years. A total of 217 Hodgkin lymphoma survivors were diagnosed with AML (10.8 expected; unadjusted EAR = 6.2; 95% confidence interval = 5.4 to 7.1). Excess absolute risk for AML was highest during the first 10 years after Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis but remained elevated thereafter. In subsequent analyses, adjusted for time since Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and presented for the 5-9 year interval, the EAR was statistically significantly (P or = 35 age groups, respectively), which may be associated with modifications in chemotherapy.
BACKGROUND: The main objective of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to bitumen fumes could enhance the risk of cancer in asphalt workers. METHODS: A historical prospective cohort study was performed including 8,763 male asphalt workers from all main asphalt companies in Norway. Name, date of birth, and unique personal identification number, address, job type, and start and stop of employment in specific jobs was obtained for the workers. Information was complied from payroll and personnel records in the companies. The cohort was then linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway, which has complete records of individual cases of cancer in the Norwegian population since 1953. Follow-up was from 1 January 1970 to 31 December 1997. The 5-year age and period adjusted general male population in Norway served as reference population. RESULTS: Lung cancer was found elevated with standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 1.3 (95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.1, 1.7) in the overall analysis. Lung cancer was found more elevated in workers first exposed in the 1950s and 1960s and in mastic asphalt workers (SIR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.2, 10, based on four cases) and pavers (SIR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.0, 1.9). There was a deficiency in the incidence of malignant melanoma with 13 cases versus 26 expected. CONCLUSIONS: Risk of lung cancer was found enhanced among the asphalt workers. Some of the enhanced risk could probably be explained by the smoking habits of the workers. Exposure to coal tar may also have contributed to the enhanced risk.
Insulation work has been described as an occupation with high exposure to asbestos. A cohort of members of the Norwegian Trade Union of Insulation Workers (n = 1116), hired between 1930 and 1975, was established. During 2002, the cohort was linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of pleural mesothelioma was 12.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.0-24.6). Two cases with peritoneal mesotheliomas were found (SIR, 14.8; 95% CI = 1.8-53.4). The SIR of lung cancer was 3.0 (95% CI = 2.3-3.8). Four cases of lung cancer were observed among cork workers without any exposure to asbestos, but to cork dust and tar smoke (SIR, 5.3; 95% CI = 1.5-13.6). Our study showed a high risk of mesothelioma and an elevated risk of lung cancer among members of the Trade Union of Insulation Workers.
OBJECTIVES: The incidence of cancer among employees of a Norwegian asbestos-cement factory was studied in relation to duration of exposure and time since first exposure. The factory was active in 1942-1968. Most of the asbestos in use was chrysotile, but for technical reasons 8% amphiboles was added. METHODS: For the identification of cancer cases, a cohort of 541 male workers was linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway. The analysis was based on the comparison between the observed and expected number of cancer cases. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated. Period of first employment, duration of employment, and time since first employment were used as indicators of exposure. Poisson regression analysis was used for the internal comparisons. RESULTS: The standardized incidence ratio was 52.5 (95% CI 31.1-83.0) for pleural mesothelioma, on the basis of 18 cases. The highest standardized incidence ratio was found for workers first employed in the earliest production period (SIR 99.0, 95% CI 51.3-173). No peritoneal mesothelioma was found. The standardized incidence ratio for lung cancer was 3.1 (95% CI 2.14.3), but no dose-response effect was observed. The ratio of mesothelioma to lung cancer cases was 1:2. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a high incidence of mesothelioma and a high ratio of mesothelioma to lung cancer among asbestos-cement workers. The high incidence of mesothelioma was probably due to the fact that a relatively high proportion of amphiboles was used in the production process.
U.S. studies have reported an increased risk of esophageal and some other cancers in dry cleaners exposed to tetrachloroethylene. We investigated whether the U.S. findings could be reproduced in the Nordic countries using a series of case-control studies nested in cohorts of laundry and dry-cleaning workers identified from the 1970 censuses in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Dry-cleaning work in the Nordic countries during the period when tetrachloroethylene was the dominant solvent was not associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer [rate ratio (RR) = 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.34-1.69], but our study was hampered by some unclassifiable cases. The risks of cancer of the gastric cardia, liver, pancreas, and kidney and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were not significantly increased.Assistants in dry-cleaning shops had a borderline significant excess risk of cervical cancer not found in women directly involved in dry cleaning. We found an excess risk of bladder cancer (RR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.07-1.93) not associated with length of employment. The finding of no excess risk of esophageal cancer in Nordic dry cleaners differs from U.S. findings. Chance, differences in level of exposure to tetrachloroethylene, and confounding may explain the findings. The overall evidence on bladder cancer in dry cleaners is equivocal.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate cancer risk among Norwegian workers in the printing industry, particularly lung and bladder cancer. METHODS: Cancer incidence was investigated from 1953 through 1998 in a cohort of 10 549 male members of a trade union in the printing industry in Oslo and nearby areas. Rates from the region, were used to calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIR) separately for the skilled and unskilled workers. Smoking data from a sample of the cohort were utilized for evaluating the risk estimates of smoking-related cancers. Specific exposure data were not available. RESULTS: Among the skilled workers, significantly elevated risks of cancer of the urinary bladder [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.47, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.19-1.79], liver (SIR 1.92, 95% CI 1.15-2.99), pancreas (SIR 1.46, 95% CI 1.07-1.94) and colon (SIR 1.27, 95% CI 1.05-1.55) were observed, whereas an increased risk of lung cancer in this group was confined to those born before 1910. Among the unskilled workers, there were significantly increased risks of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, larynx, lung, and all sites. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that workers in the printing industry were at increased risk of several types of cancer. In particular the increased risk of bladder cancer among the skilled workers is suggestive of an occupational cause. However, no specific agent could be identified as an occupational carcinogen. The results did not support the hypothesis of a generally increased risk of lung cancer. The risk pattern for unskilled workers may reflect confounding by nonoccupational factors.
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies of predominantly ecological design have indicated a possible elevation of gastrointestinal cancer risk in population groups exposed to drinking water contaminated with asbestos from natural sources or asbestos-cement containing water pipes. In the present study the possible effect of ingested asbestos fibers on gastrointestinal cancer risk was investigated in an occupational group where a proportion of the employees was exposed to asbestos in their drinking water. METHOD: A cohort of 726 lighthouse keepers first employed between 1917 and 1967 were followed up for cancer incidence from 1960 to 2002. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated as the number of new cancer cases divided by the expected number based on five-year age and sex specific incidence rates in the general rural population of Norway. A 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated for all SIR values assuming a Poisson distribution of the cancer cases. RESULTS: Risk of stomach cancer was elevated in the whole cohort (SIR: 1.6, CI: 1.0-2.3), in the subgroup with definite asbestos exposure (SIR: 2.5, CI: 0.9-5.5), and when the group was followed for 20 years and more after first possible exposure (SIR: 1.7, CI: 1.1-2.7). Less consistent results were found for colon cancer; SIR was 1.5 (CI: 0.9-2.2) overall, 0.8 (CI: 0.1-2.9) among the exposed, and 1.6 (CI: 1.0-2.5) twenty years and more after first possible exposure. CONCLUSION: The results support the hypothesis of an association between ingested asbestos and gastrointestinal cancer risk in general and stomach cancer risk specifically.
BACKGROUND: Exposures in nickel refineries represent complex chemical mixtures, but only the effect of nickel has been evaluated quantitatively in epidemiologic studies of nickel workers. METHODS: For a Norwegian refinery, time- and department-specific exposure estimates were developed for arsenic, sulfuric acid mists, and cobalt in air on the basis of personal measurements and chemical data on raw materials and process intermediates. Exposure to asbestos, as well as employment in high-risk occupations outside the refinery, were assessed. We conducted a case-control study nested in a cohort of refinery workers, with 213 cases (diagnosed 1952-1995) and 525 age-matched controls. We analyzed lung cancer risk, adjusted for smoking, by cumulative exposure and duration of work. RESULTS: There was a substantial association between cumulative exposure to water-soluble nickel and lung cancer risk. Weaker effects were suggested for exposure to arsenic at the refinery and for occupational exposures outside the refinery for 15 years or more. No detectable excess risk was found for refinery exposure to asbestos or sulfuric acid mists, and no dose-related increase in risk was seen from cobalt. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to water-soluble nickel remained the most likely explanation for the excess lung cancer risk in the cohort. Other occupational exposures did not confound the strong dose-related effect of nickel to any appreciable degree.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified nickel compounds as carcinogenic to humans, but it is still not known with certainty which forms of nickel pose the risk. In a case-control study of Norwegian nickel-refinery workers, the authors examined dose-related associations between lung cancer and cumulative exposure to four forms of nickel: water-soluble, sulfidic, oxidic, and metallic. A job-exposure matrix was based on personal measurements of total nickel in air and quantification of the four forms of nickel in dusts and aerosols. Data on smoking habits were collected for 213 cases identified in the Cancer Registry of Norway between 1952 and 1995 and 525 age-matched controls (94% participation rate). The nickel exposures were moderately to highly correlated. A clear dose-related effect was seen for water-soluble nickel (odds ratio = 1.7 per unit in the log(e)-transformed exposure, ln[(cumulative exposure) + 1], originally given in (mg/m(3)) x years (95% confidence interval: 1.3, 2.2)). A general rise in risk from other types of nickel could not be excluded, but no further dose-dependent increase was seen. Smoking was a weak to moderate confounder. The study suggests an important role of water-soluble nickel species in nickel-related cancer.
Asbestos exposure is considered to be the only important risk factor for malignant mesothelioma. The importation of asbestos to Norway increased after World War II and peaked in 1970. Stringent regulations took effect in 1977, and importation and use of asbestos practically ended in Norway in the late 1970s, until importation was prohibited in 1982. Our study aimed to analyze the incidence of mesothelioma in Norway according to temporal variation, to study the consequences of the use of asbestos and the asbestos ban effectiveness. An age-period-cohort model was used to analyze time trends for pleural mesotheliomas. From 1965-1999, the annual number of pleural mesotheliomas rose gradually both in males and females, and the highest annual number of pleural mesotheliomas was recorded in 1999 with 73 new cases diagnosed. The age-adjusted log linear drift of malignant mesothelioma of the pleura during the observation period rose 31.1% per 5 years among men and 15.9% among women. In 1995-1999, the age-adjusted incidence rate for men was 16.6 per million person-years for men and 2.3 for women. Cohort-specific risks increased for men born up to around 1935. After this the risks seem to stabilize. The rates were determined by age and by birth cohort. The delayed period effect of the asbestos regulation by the late 1970s will probably have its greatest effects on the mesothelioma rates around 2010.