The rhesus monkey virus Simian Virus 40 (SV40) is a member of the polyomavirus family. It was introduced inadvertently to human populations through contaminated polio vaccine during the years 1956-1963, can induce experimental tumors in animals and transform human cells in culture. SV40 DNA has been identified in mesothelioma and other human tumors in some but not all studies. We tested prediagnostic sera from 49 mesothelioma cases and 147 matched controls for antibodies against the viral capsid protein VP1 and the large T antigen of SV40 and of the closely related human polyomaviruses BK and JC, and for SV40 DNA. Cases and controls were identified among donors to the Janus Serum Bank, which was linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway. Antibodies were analyzed by recently developed multiplex serology based on recombinantly expressed fusions of glutathione-S transferase with viral proteins as antigens combined with fluorescent bead technology. BKV and JCV specific antibodies cross- reactive with SV40 were preabsorbed with the respective VP1 proteins. Sera showing SV40 reactivity after preabsorption with BKV and JCV VP1 were further analyzed in SV40 neutralization assays. SV40 DNA was analyzed by SV40 specific polymerase chain reactions. The odds ratio for being a case when tested positive for SV40 VP1 in the antibody capture assay was 1.5 (95% CI 0.6-3.7) and 2.0 (95% CI 0.6-7.0) when only strongly reactive sera where counted as positive. Although some sera could neutralize SV40, preabsorption with BKV and JCV VP1 showed for all such sera that this neutralizing activity was due to cross-reacting antibodies and did not represent truly SV40-specific antibodies. No viral DNA was found in the sera. No significant association between SV40 antibody response in prediagnostic sera and risk of mesothelioma was seen.
The aims were to assess the impact of a total smoking ban on the level of airborne contaminants and the urinary cotinine levels in the employees in bars and restaurants. In a follow up design, 13 bars and restaurants were visited before and after the implementation of a smoking ban. Ninety-three employees in the establishments were initially included into the study. The arithmetic mean concentration of nicotine and total dust declined from 28.3 microg m(-3) (range, 0.4-88.0) and 262 microg m(-3) (range, 52-662), respectively, to 0.6 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-3.7) and 77 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-261) after the smoking ban. The Pearson correlation coefficient between airborne nicotine and total dust was 0.86 (p
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have suggested an association between breast cancer and night work. We evaluated the relationship among Norwegian nurses. METHODS: A case-control study, nested within a cohort of 44,835 nurses educated between 1914 and 1980 was performed, based on a registry of all Norwegian nurses. Four controls were individually matched by year of birth to each of 537 breast cancer cases that occurred during the period 1960-1982. The reconstruction of work history and number of years with night work for each nurse was based on information from the nurse registry, and data from three censuses. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for total duration of work as a nurse and parity. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: The adjusted OR of breast cancer among nurses who worked nights for 30 or more years was 2.21 (CI 1.10-4.45) compared with those who did not work nights after graduation from nursing school (p(trend) = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Our results are in accordance with previous studies that find an association between night work and breast cancer risk among women.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the influence of occupational exposure on cancer risk among female Norwegian nurses. METHODS: A historical prospective cohort study was performed. The cohort was established from the Norwegian Board of Health's registry of nurses and included women who graduated from a nursing school before 1985. The cohort (N=43 316) was linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway. The observed number of cases was compared with the expected number on the basis of national rates. Time since first employment, period of first employment, and duration of employment were used as indicators of exposure. Poisson regression analyses were used for internal comparisons, adjusting for age, period, and fertility. RESULTS: The nurses were followed over 1473931 person-years. During the follow-up (1953-2002), 6193 cancer cases were observed. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for all cancers combined was close to unity. Significantly lower risks were found for cancers with a known association with alcohol and tobacco consumption and sexual activity. A significantly increased risk was found for breast cancer (SIR 1.14, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.09-1.19), ovarian cancer (SIR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04-1.25), malignant melanoma (SIR 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.28), and borderline significant risk appeared for other skin cancer (SIR 1.12, 95% CI 0.98-1.29). A positive trend for increasing time since first exposure was found for breast cancer and malignant melanoma. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate an association between working as a nurse and an increased risk of breast cancer and malignant melanoma. Decreased risks, found for several cancers, indicate favorable lifestyle habits among nurses.
The influence of occupational exposure to ionizing radiation on risk of radiation-related cancers was studied among Norwegian nurses. A cohort of 43 316 nurses who graduated between 1914 and 1984, and were registered by the Norwegian Board of Health's registry of nurses, was followed up from 1953 through 2002 by linkage to the Norwegian Cancer Registry by unique personal identification numbers. Indicators of radiation exposure were developed from data on work history. Internal analyses were performed with Poisson regression, according to time since first potential radiation exposure, duration of exposure, and period of first exposure, using unexposed nurses as reference group. No clear association was found between exposure to ionizing radiation and cancers of the breast, thyroid, ovary, or leukemia, malignant melanoma or other skin cancer. Increased risk of lung cancer was found in the subgroups of nurses first exposed after 1950 (rate ratio=1.47, 95% confidence interval: 0.97-2.23, 26 cases), and in nurses with less than 20 years since first exposure (rate ratio=3.41, 95% confidence interval: 1.67-6.99, 9 cases), but the most likely explanation was confounding by smoking.No firm evidence that nurses potentially exposed to ionizing radiation had increased risk of radiation-related cancer was found.
We present up to 45 years of cancer incidence data by occupational category for the Nordic populations. The study covers the 15 million people aged 30-64 years in the 1960, 1970, 1980/1981 and/or 1990 censuses in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and the 2.8 million incident cancer cases diagnosed in these people in a follow-up until about 2005. The study was undertaken as a cohort study with linkage of individual records based on the personal identity codes used in all the Nordic countries. In the censuses, information on occupation for each person was provided through free text in self-administered questionnaires. The data were centrally coded and computerised in the statistical offices. For the present study, the original occupational codes were reclassified into 53 occupational categories and one group of economically inactive persons. All Nordic countries have a nation-wide registration of incident cancer cases during the entire study period. For the present study the incident cancer cases were classified into 49 primary diagnostic categories. Some categories have been further divided according to sub-site or morphological type. The observed number of cancer cases in each group of persons defined by country, sex, age, period and occupation was compared with the expected number calculated from the stratum specific person years and the incidence rates for the national population. The result was presented as a standardised incidence ratio, SIR, defined as the observed number of cases divided by the expected number. For all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), the study showed a wide variation among men from an SIR of 0.79 (95% confidence interval 0.66-0.95) in domestic assistants to 1.48 (1.43-1.54) in waiters. The occupations with the highest SIRs also included workers producing beverage and tobacco, seamen and chimney sweeps. Among women, the SIRs varied from 0.58 (0.37-0.87) in seafarers to 1.27 (1.19-1.35) in tobacco workers. Low SIRs were found for farmers, gardeners and teachers. Our study was able to repeat most of the confirmed associations between occupations and cancers. It is known that almost all mesotheliomas are associated with asbestos exposure. Accordingly, plumbers, seamen and mechanics were the occupations with the highest risk in the present study. Mesothelioma was the cancer type showing the largest relative differences between the occupations. Outdoor workers such as fishermen, gardeners and farmers had the highest risk of lip cancer, while the lowest risk was found among indoor workers such as physicians and artistic workers. Studies of nasal cancer have shown increased risks associated with exposure to wood dust, both for those in furniture making and for those exposed exclusively to soft wood like the majority of Nordic woodworkers. We observed an SIR of 1.84 (1.66-2.04) in male and 1.88 (0.90-3.46) in female woodworkers. For nasal adenocarcinoma, the SIR in males was as high as 5.50 (4.60-6.56). Male waiters and tobacco workers had the highest risk of lung cancer, probably attributable to active and passive smoking. Miners and quarry workers also had a high risk, which might be related to their exposure to silica dust and radon daughters. Among women, tobacco workers and engine operators had a more than fourfold risk as compared with the lung cancer risk among farmers, gardeners and teachers. The occupational risk patterns were quite similar in all main histological subtypes of lung cancer. Bladder cancer is considered as one of the cancer types most likely to be related to occupational carcinogens. Waiters had the highest risk of bladder cancer in men and tobacco workers in women, and the low-risk categories were the same ones as for lung cancer. All this can be accounted for by smoking. The second-highest SIRs were among chimney sweeps and hairdressers. Chimney sweeps are exposed to carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the chimney soot, and hairdressers' work environment is also rich in chemical agents. Exposure to the known hepatocarcinogens, the Hepatitis B virus and aflatoxin, is rare in the Nordic countries, and a large proportion of primary liver cancers can therefore be attributed to alcohol consumption. The highest risks of liver cancer were seen in occupational categories with easy access to alcohol at the work place or with cultural traditions of high alcohol consumption, such as waiters, cooks, beverage workers, journalists and seamen. The risk of colon cancer has been related to sedentary work. The findings in the present study did not strongly indicate any protective role of physical activity. Colon cancer was one of the cancer types showing the smallest relative variation in incidence between occupational categories. The occupational variation in the risk of female breast cancer (the most common cancer type in the present series, 373 361 cases) was larger, and there was a tendency of physically demanding occupations to show SIRs below unity. Women in occupations which require a high level of education have, on average, a higher age at first child-birth and elevated breast cancer incidence. Women in occupational categories with the highest average number of children had markedly lower incidence. In male breast cancer (2 336 cases), which is not affected by the dominating reproductive factors, there was a suggestion of an increase in risk in occupations characterised by shift work. Night-shift work was recently classified as probably carcinogenic, with human evidence based on breast cancer research. The most common cancer among men in the present cohort was prostate cancer (339 973 cases). Despite the huge number of cases, we were unable to demonstrate any occupation-related risks. The observed small occupational variation could be easily explained by varying PSA test frequency. The Nordic countries are known for equity and free and equal access to health care for all citizens. The present study shows that the risk of cancer, even under these circumstances, is highly dependent on the person's position in the society. Direct occupational hazards seem to explain only a small percentage of the observed variation - but still a large number of cases - while indirect factors such as life style changes related to longer education and decreasing physical activity become more important. This publication is the first one from the extensive Nordic Occupational Cancer (NOCCA) project. Subsequent studies will focus on associations between specific work-related factors and cancer diseases with the aim to identify exposure-response patterns. In addition to the cancer data demonstrated in the present publication, the NOCCA project produced Nordic Job Exposure Matrix (described in separate articles in this issue of Acta Oncologica) that transforms information about occupational title histories to quantitative estimates of specific exposures. The third essential component is methodological development related to analysis and interpretation of results based on averaged information of exposures and co-factors in the occupational categories.