Groups with assumed health-protective life-styles have been studied for several decades, in search of causes for cancer. We have analyzed cancer incidence, total mortality, and cause-specific mortality in Norwegian teetotalers to assess the possible health gains from an alcohol-abstaining life-style. A cohort of 5332 members of the International Organization of Good Templars was followed for 10 years from 1980. The cancer incidence and the cause-specific mortality of the cohort has been compared to that of the total Norwegian population. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for all cancer sites was 74 [95% confidence interval (CI), 64-80] for men and 72 (95% CI, 61-84) for women. For possible alcohol-associated cancers, such as cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, liver, and larynx, the SIR was 43 (95% CI, 17-88) for both sexes combined. For lung cancer the SIR was 57 (95% CI, 37-90) for men and 10 (95% CI, 0-57) for women. When all alcohol- and tobacco-associated cancers were excluded, the SIR for both sexes combined was 79 (95% CI, 69-87). The standardized mortality ratio for total mortality was 81 (95% CI, 65-74). This significant decrease in total mortality was caused by reduced risks for all major causes of death. The study indicates that members of the Norwegian chapter of the International Organization of Good Templars are a low-risk group not only regarding alcohol- and tobacco-associated cancers, but also regarding all other cancers.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was, on the basis of new information on nickel species and exposure levels, to generate a specific exposure matrix for epidemiologic analyses in a cohort of Norwegian nickel-refinery workers with a known excess of respiratory cancer. METHODS: A department-time-exposure matrix was constructed with average exposure to total nickel estimated as the arithmetic mean of personal measurements for periods between 1973 and 1994. From 1972 back to the start of production in 1910, exposure concentrations were estimated through retrograde calculation with multiplication factors developed on the basis of reported changes in the metallurgical process and work environment. The relative distribution of water-soluble nickel salts (sulfates and chlorides), metallic nickel, and particulates with limited solubility (sulfides and oxides) was mainly derived from speciation analyses conducted in the 1990s. RESULTS: The average concentration of nickel in the breathing zone was
We investigated birth defects (N = 4,565) reported to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway among 192,417 births between 1967 and 1991 to parents identified as farmers in five agricultural and horticultural censuses between 1969 and 1989. The prevalences at birth of all and specific birth defects deviated little from those among 61,351 births to non-farmers in agricultural municipalities. We classified exposure indicators on the basis of information provided at the agricultural censuses. The main hypotheses were that parental exposure to pesticides was associated with defects of the central nervous system, orofacial clefts, some male genital defects, and limb reduction defects. We found moderate increases in risk for spina bifida and hydrocephaly, the associations being strongest for exposure to pesticides in orchards or greenhouses [spina bifida: 5 exposed cases, odds ratio (OR) = 2.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07-7.13; hydrocephaly: 5 exposed cases, OR = 3.49, 95% CI = 1.34-9.09]. Exposure to pesticides, in particular in grain farming, was also associated with limb reduction defects (OR = 2.50; 95% CI = 1.06-5.90). We also saw an association with pesticides for cryptorchism and hypospadias. We found less striking associations for other specific defects and pesticide indicators, animal farming, and fertilizer regimens.
A previous study on the incidence of cancer in a cohort of 286 asbestos-exposed electrochemical industry workers observed from 1953 through 1980 has been extended with another 8 years of follow-up. The incidence of cancer was derived from the Cancer Registry of Norway, and the expected figures were calculated by a life table method. During the extended follow-up period from 1981 through 1988, among the cohort members there were 12 new cancer cases versus 14.2 expected (SIR 85, 95% CI 44-158). In a lightly exposed sub-cohort, the extended follow-up revealed 4 cases of lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma (ICD, 7th revision 162-163) versus 1.6 cases expected (SIR 256, 95% CI71-654). In a heavily exposed sub-cohort, the corresponding figures were 3 and 0.5 (SIR 588, 95% CI 118-1,725).
Cancer incidence was studied among 922 creosote-exposed impregnators at 13 plants in Sweden and Norway. The subjects had been impregnating wood (eg, railroad cross-ties and telegraph poles), but no data on individual exposures were available. The study population was restricted to men employed during the period 1950-1975, and their cancer morbidity was checked through the cancer registries. The total cancer incidence was somewhat lower than expected, 129 cases versus 137 expected [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 0.94]. Increased risks in both countries combined were observed for lip cancer (SIR 2.50, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.81-5.83), skin cancer (SIR 2.37, 95% CI 1.08-4.50), and malignant lymphoma (SIR 1.9, 95% CI 0.83-3.78). Exposure to sunlight may have contributed to the risk of lip and skin cancer. The small number of cancer cases does not permit valid conclusions. The findings indicate that impregnating wood with creosote in earlier decades increased the risk of skin cancer.
OBJECTIVES: The study investigated cancer incidence among 23,718 male pulp and paper workers employed continuously for at least 1 year between 1920 and 1993 in Norway. METHODS: The name, date of birth, personal identification number, dates of hire and termination for all employment periods, specific department, and job categories were registered for each worker. Six subcohorts were established (sulfite mill, sulfate mill, paper mill, maintenance department, administrative staff and other departments). Data on the cohort were linked with data in the Norwegian Cancer Register. The follow-up period for cancer incidence, date of death, or emigration was from 1953 through 1993. RESULTS: An excess incidence of lung cancer was found among both short- and long-term employees [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.13-2.03 and SIR 1.2, 95% CI 1.09-1.34, respectively], especially for workers with the longest latency (SIR 1.3, 95% CI 1.08-1.44) and for sulfite mill workers (SIR 1.5, 95% CI 1.09-1.99). The risk for pleural mesothelioma was also increased (SIR 2.4, 95% CI 1.45-3.75), especially among maintenance workers. The results also showed an increased risk for malignant melanoma (SIR 1.3, 95% CI 1.04-1.60), an unexpected finding. CONCLUSIONS: Almost all the increased risk for lung cancer can be explained by a combination of smoking habits and asbestos use. although an effect of other work-related exposures (sulfur and chloride compounds, wood dust) cannot be excluded. Most of the cases of pleural mesothelioma occurred in departments where asbestos was used. There is no clear explanation for the excess of malignant melanoma, and the finding may be a chance occurrence.
Previous studies have found high risk of cancers of the upper aerogastric tract, liver, and lung among waiters. Since approximately 75 percent of those working in the restaurant business in Norway are women, we have analyzed cancer incidence in a cohort of waitresses, to determine whether they have the same high cancer-risk as their male colleagues. The cohort consisted of 5,314 waitresses organized in the Restaurant Workers' Union between 1932 and 1978. The follow-up period was from 1959 to 1991. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for all causes of cancer was 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.9-1.1), based on 430 observed cases. Cancers of the tongue, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and liver were grouped together as alcohol-associated cancers. SIR for these cancers combined was 1.1 (CI = 0.5-2.2). For lung cancer, SIR was 2.3 (CI = 1.6-3.1). Cervical cancer was also more frequent than expected, and breast cancer less frequent than expected. The larger excess of lung cancer and cervical cancer appeared in the sub-cohort working in restaurants with a license to serve alcohol. No excess risk of alcohol-associated cancers could be detected in this cohort of Norwegian waitresses. A longer follow-up period will be necessary to evaluate possible consequences of an increased alcohol consumption among younger waitresses. Waitresses in Norway are, like their male colleagues, at high risk for lung cancer.
BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to investigate cancer risk among women working in the Norwegian pulp and paper industry. The cohort included a total of 4,247 workers employed for at least one year between 1920 and 1993 (108,095 person-years), 85% of them as paper or administration workers. METHODS: The follow-up period for cancer was from 1953-1993. No data of exposure measurements were available. The analyses were based on comparisons of standard incidence ratios. The expected numbers of cancer cases were calculated using the five-year age-specific incidence rates for the entire female population. RESULTS: During the follow-up period, 380 new cases of cancer were observed vs. 322 expected (SIR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.07-1.30). An excess risk of ovarian cancer was found (SIR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.07-2.09). The SIR was highest among those younger than 55 years, and mostly among those working in paper departments. Short-term workers showed increased risk of lung and bladder cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Based on results from the present study, the increased risk of ovarian cancer is difficult to interpret, since existing knowledge of its etiology is limited. However, these women might have been exposed to various work-related agents such as talc, microbes, and different types of paper dust.
The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of cancer among 318 male employees of a niobium mining company which was only operated between 1951 and 1965. Many of the workers, especially underground miners, were exposed to the daughters of radon and thoron and also to thorium. The accumulated doses to the workers from short-lived radon and thoron daughters in the mine atmosphere were assessed to be relatively low; up to 300 working-level months. During the follow-up period 1953-1981, 24 new cases of cancer were observed compared to an expected number of 22.8. Twelve cases of lung cancer had occurred versus 3.0 expected. Among the 77 miners, 9 cases of lung cancer were observed against 0.8 expected. Associations between the occurrence of lung cancer and exposure to alpha radiation and smoking were found. For the radon and thoron daughter exposure, about 50 excess cases per million person-years at risk per working-level month were observed.
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated associations between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the incidence of lung, bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer among Norwegian aluminum plant workers. METHODS: Cancer incidence was investigated from 1953 to 1996 among 11,103 men employed for more than 3 years in the industry, giving 272,554 person-years during follow-up. A job exposure matrix was constructed to estimate exposure to particulate PAH and fluorides. The observed cases of cancer were compared with expected figures calculated from national rates. Dose-response relations were investigated by internal comparisons using Poisson regression and stratified analyses for standardized incidence ratio. Potential confounding by smoking was investigated in subanalyses restricted to 3 of the plants. RESULTS: The study showed an overall excess for bladder cancer, standardized incidence ratio 1.3 (95% confidence interval 1.1-1.5), which increased with increasing cumulative exposure to PAH and reached a relative risk of about 2 for the upper exposure category in the analysis with 30 years of lag time. There was no association between cumulative PAH exposure and lung cancer, but there were indications of an elevated risk of kidney cancer among the most heavily PAH-exposed persons in the analyses with a lag time of 30 years. For pancreatic cancer we found a higher incidence among the PAH-exposed persons than among the unexposed ones, but no clear dose-response association was found. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed an association between bladder cancer and exposure to PAH, but gave no support to an association between PAH exposure and lung cancer in the primary aluminum industry.