Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 209-217

First online:

Occupation and bladder cancer in European women

  • Andrea 't MannetjeAffiliated withRespiratory and Environmental Health Research Unit, Insitut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica(IMIM)
  • , Manolis KogevinasAffiliated withRespiratory and Environmental Health Research Unit, Insitut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica(IMIM) Email author 
  • , Jenny Chang-ClaudeAffiliated withDeutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Abteilung Epidomiologie
  • , Sylvaine CordierAffiliated withInstitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale-INSERM
  • , Carlos-Alberto GonzálezAffiliated withInstitut de recerca epidemiològica clìnica
  • , Martine HoursAffiliated withInsitut d'Épidémiologie, Université Claude Bernard
  • , Karl-Heinz JöckelAffiliated withBiometrie und Epidemiologie, Institut für Medizinische Informatik
  • , Ulrich Bolm-AudorffAffiliated withArbeit and Sozialordnung, Hessisches Ministerium für Frauen
  • , Elsebeth LyngeAffiliated withDanish Cancer Society
    • , Stefano PorruAffiliated withInstitute of Occupational Health, University of Brescia
    • , Francesco DonatoAffiliated withInstitute of Hygiene, University of Brescia
    • , Ulrich RanftAffiliated withMedical Institute of Environmental Hygiene, Heinrich-Heine University
    • , Consol SerraAffiliated withCentre d'Estudis, Programes i Serveis Sanitaris
    • , Anastasia TzonouAffiliated withDepartment of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School of Athens
    • , Paolo VineisAffiliated withUnit of Cancer Epidemiology
    • , Jürgen WahrendorfAffiliated withDeutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Abteilung Epidomiologie
    • , Paolo BoffettaAffiliated withUnit of Environemntal Cancer Epidemiology, International Agency for Research on Cancer

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Objectives: We examined the importance of occupational exposures for bladder cancer in women.

Methods: We combined data from 11 case-control studies conducted between 1976 and 1996 in six European countries. The pooled data comprised 700 incident female cases and 2425 population or hospital controls, aged 30–79 years. Lifetime occupational and smoking history were examined using common coding.

Results: Excess risks were found in only a few of the occupations previously identified at high risk for bladder cancer. Statistically significant excess risks were observed for metal workers, particularly blacksmiths, toolmakers and machine tool operators (OR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1–3.6), tobacco workers (OR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.1–9.3), field crop and vegetable farm workers (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0–3.1), tailors and dress makers (OR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.0–2.1), saleswomen (OR: 2.6, 95% CI: 1.0–6.9), and mail sorting clerks (OR: 4.4, 95% CI: 1.0–19.5). About 8% (95% CI: 3.1–19.9) of all bladder cancers in women could be attributed to occupation after adjusting for smoking. The attributable risk was higher in women aged less than 65 years (12%), compared to older women (4%).

Conclusions: The calculation of the attributable risk on the basis of results from this analysis may have caused some overestimation of the proportion of occupational bladder cancer in women. A significant proportion, however, of bladder cancer cases among European women less than 65years is likely to be attributed to occupation. This link between bladder cancer in women and occupational factors has received little recognition, probably because studies addressing these issues have predominantly been done in men.

bladder neoplasms occupation risk factors women