Glioma and occupational exposure in Sweden, a case-control study.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to analyse whether any job titles, industrial codes, and certain occupational exposures were associated with an increased risk of glioma. METHODS: A population based case-control study of incident primary brain tumours in adults was carried out in Uppsala, Sweden in the period 1987-90. The study included 192 cases of glioma and 192 matched controls. It also included cases with other tumours of the central nervous system with matched controls. Information from all 343 controls was used in this study. Information was collected by means of a questionnaire that was sent to all subjects. An occupational hygienist reviewed the questionnaires for self reported exposures to substances and assessed whether these reported exposures were plausible or not in the corresponding occupation. RESULTS: The kappa coefficient for those classified by the two methods ranged between 0.46 and 0.88, and they were almost the same for cases and controls. For men exposed to solvents a relative risk (RR) of 2.6 (95% CI 1.3 to 5.2) was found. For men exposed to pesticides the RR was 1.8 (95% CI 0.6 to 5.1), and for plastic materials the RR was 3.6 (95% CI 1.0 to 12.4). For men employed in forestry and logging the RR was 2.2 (95% CI 0.9 to 5.3) and in basic metal industries 2.0 (95% CI 1.0 to 4.0). CONCLUSION: An increased risk of glioma was associated with use of solvents, pesticides, and plastic materials but this should be interpreted with some caution.

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