Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Cancer incidence in Danish health care workers
Rix, B. A., Lynge, E. Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine. 1996. 24:2, 114-20.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Occupation, nursing
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Healthcare employees recorded in the 1970 census. Cancers diagnosed in 1970-1987 compared with economically active members of the population.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Work in healthcare job. Possible exposures include formaldehyde, ehtylene oxide, pathogens, radiation, antineoplastic drugs.
Exposure assessment comment
Exposure measure is very broad, with extensive misclassification likely.
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Description of major analysis
Standardized incidence ratio.
Strength of associations reported
Risk was elevated (1.19 - 1.63) and confidence interval excluded one for these occupations: salaried dentist, physiotherapist, salaried medical doctor, registered nurse. Highest risk observed for dentists: SIR 1.63 (1.08-2.35). Risk was low for practical nurses: SIR 0.78 (0.68-0.90).
Results Comments
Confounding may be important, even though the comparison group is restricted to economically active women.
Author address
Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.