Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 241–248 | Cite as

Occupational exposures as risk factors for gastric cancer in Italy

  • Pierluigi Cocco
  • Domenico Palli
  • Eva Buiatti
  • Francesco Cipriani
  • Adriano DeCarli
  • Pierina Manca
  • Mary H. Ward
  • William J. Blot
  • Joseph F. FraumeniJr.
Research Papers


Occupational associations with gastric cancer were investigated in a multicenter case-control study in Italy involving interviews with 640 histologically confirmed male cases and 959 controls, randomly selected from the resident populations of the study areas. From information on the three jobs each person held the longest, risks were evaluated according to employment in 35 occupations (ever or 21+ years) and to estimated exposure (ever or 21+ years) to six chemicals using a job-exposure matrix. All risk estimates were adjusted by personal, demographic, and dietary variables identified as gastric-cancer risk factors in previous analyses. The only significantly increased risk was observed for sailors, seamen, and allied groups (ever employed: odds ratio [OR]=2.9; 95 percent confidence interval [CI]=1.1–8.0; 21+ years: OR=3.1, CI=0.8–13). Nonsignificant increases after 21+ years of employment were observed for forestry workers, miners, and janitors and cleaners. Crude ORs were elevated significantly among farmers, but adjusting for demographic and lifestyle factors largely eliminated the association: a nonsignificant 30 percent excess risk remained for farm laborers, but there was no rise in risk among long-term farm laborers and no excess among farm owners. Application of the job-exposure matrix revealed excess risks of borderline significance associated with potential exposure to mineral dusts and nitrogen oxides. For subjects with 21+ years of potential exposure, nonsignificantly increased risks were related to mineral dusts, asbestos, fertilizers, and nitrosamines. Although possibly incomplete occupational histories and use of broad occupational codes likely resulted in some exposure misclassification, the results of this study indicate that occupation in general is not a strong risk factor for gastric cancer. The findings, however, are consistent with previous reports suggesting that certain occupational exposures may influence gastric cancer risk.

Key words

Diet farming gastric cancer males occupation 


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Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Cocco
    • 1
  • Domenico Palli
    • 2
  • Eva Buiatti
    • 2
  • Francesco Cipriani
    • 2
  • Adriano DeCarli
    • 3
  • Pierina Manca
    • 1
  • Mary H. Ward
    • 4
  • William J. Blot
    • 4
  • Joseph F. FraumeniJr.
    • 4
  1. 1.the Istituto di Medicina del LavoroUniversita' di CagliariItaly
  2. 2.Centro per la Prevenzione Oncologica (CSPO)FirenzeItaly
  3. 3.Istuto di Statistica Medica e BiometriaUniversita' di MilanoItaly
  4. 4.National Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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