Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Occupational risk factors for breast cancer among women in Shanghai
Petralia, S. A., Chow, W. H., McLaughlin, J., Jin, F., Gao, Y. T., Dosemeci, M. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 1998. 34:5, 477-83.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Occupation, organic solvents, benzene
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Not reported
Number in Cohort
Cohort: not reported
Cohort participation rate
Occupation was ascertained for 98.3% of cases.
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women aged 30 years and older diagnosed with breast cancer in urban Shanghai in 1980-1984 compared with 1982 census for the same population.
Comment about participation selection
Comparisons of working women to general populations may be influenced by confounding.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Occupation at time of diagnosis or retirement scored for probability and level of exposure (none, low, medium, high).
Exposure assessment comment
Very broad categories.
Statistical Analysis
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary breast cancer from 1980-1984
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.
Not controlled.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Standardized incidence ratio
Strength of associations reported
Elevated risk was observed for many occupations associated with higher education, professional and white collar work.
Rubber and plastics products makers SIR = 1.8 (1.4-2.3)
Benzene: high probability of exposure SIR 1.3 (1.0-1.7), high level of exposure SIR 1.3 (1.0-1.7)
Pesticides: high probability of exposure SIR 1.3 (0.6-1.5), high level of exposure SIR 1.3 (0.6-2.5)
Solvents: high probability x high level SIR 1.4 (1.1-1.8)
Results Comments
Reference population may not be comparable to exposed women workers in reproductive history and other breast cancer risk factors. Sensitive workers may leave exposed employment.
Author address
Occupational Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. sp126i@nih.gov