To examine the association between gallstones and cholecystectomy, we conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study in Denmark. Patients with a discharge diagnosis of gallstones from 1977 to 1989 were identified from the Danish National Registry of Patients and followed up for cancer occurrence until death or the end of 1993 by record linkage to the Danish Cancer Registry. Included in the cohort were 60 176 patients, with 471 450 person-years of follow-up. Cancer risks were estimated by standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) stratified by years of follow-up and by cholecystectomy status. Among patients without cholecystectomy, the risks at 5 or more years of follow-up were significantly elevated for cancers of liver (SIR = 2.0, CI = 1.2-3.1) and gallbladder (SIR = 2.7, CI = 1.5-4.4) and near unity for cancers of extrahepatic bile duct (SIR = 1.1), ampulla of Vater (SIR = 1.0) and pancreas (SIR = 1.1). The excess risk of liver cancer was seen only among patients with a history of hepatic disease. Among cholecystectomy patients, the risks at 5 or more years of follow-up declined for cancers of liver (SIR = 1.1) and extrahepatic bile duct (SIR = 0.7), but were elevated for cancers of ampulla of Vater (SIR = 2.0, CI = 1.0-3.7) and pancreas (SIR = 1.3, CI = 1.1-1.6). These findings confirm that gallstone disease increases the risk of gallbladder cancer, whereas cholecystectomy appears to increase the risk of cancers of ampulla of Vater and pancreas. Further research is needed to clarify the carcinogenic risks associated with gallstones and cholecystectomy and to define the mechanisms involved.
Cancer incidence and mortality risks were evaluated in a combined cohort of patients who were hospitalized for porphyria in Denmark (1977-1989) and Sweden (1965-1983). Patients were identified by using population-based hospitalization registries. The unique individual identification numbers of 530 patients with porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) and 296 with acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) were linked to the nationwide cancer and death registries. Among patients with both types of porphyria, the authors found small but significantly elevated risks of all cancers combined (PCT: standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-2.2; AIP: SIR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.8) due to pronounced excesses of primary liver cancer (PCT: SIR = 21.2, 95% CI 8.5-43.7; AIP: SIR = 70.4, 95% CI 22.7-164.3) and moderate increases in lung cancer (PCT: SIR = 2.9, 95% CI 1.5-5.2; AIP: SIR = 2.8, 95% CI 0.3-10.2). PCT patients had a significantly increased risk of mortality from liver cirrhosis (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 8.4, 95% CI 3.1-18.4) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (SMR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.1-6.7). The increased risk of primary liver cancer and the increased risk of mortality from cirrhosis of the liver are consistent with findings from previous clinical surveys, but the new observations of excess lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease require confirmation.
A systematic evaluation was made of the occurrence of microscopically confirmed primary liver cancer (International Classification of Disease, 7th Rev., 155.0) among men by industrial and occupational classification using the Cancer-Environment Registry, which links cancer incidence (1961-1979) and census data (1960) on industry and occupation for all employed persons in Sweden. A number of blue collar jobs were found to be significantly associated with primary liver cancer, including men employed in breweries, slaughterhouses, grain mills, shoe fabrication, basic industrial chemicals, plumbing and pipefitting, and insulation work. Although brewery workers and several white collar and service employment categories had significantly increased risks, the influence of alcohol intake was suggested by a parallel mortality analysis showing that most categories had excesses of liver cirrhosis and alcoholism. While often consistent with previous studies, the findings of this registry-based survey should be considered primarily as hypothesis generating in nature.