Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
Print this page
Surveillance of potential associations between occupations and causes of death in Canada, 1965-91
Aronson, K. J., Howe, G. R., Carpenter, M., Fair, M. E. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 1999. 56:4, 265-9.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Occupation
Study design
Other: Surveillance
Funding agency
Other: National Cancer Institute of Canada, Nation
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 242,196 women
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women employed between 1965 and 1971, representing 10% of the national workforce.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
670 occupations
Exposure assessment comment
Not specific to chemical exposure.
Statistical Analysis
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Mortality from breast cancer in 1965-1991.
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.
Comparisons within blue collar, white collar reduce confounding by socioeconomic status. Breast cancer risk factors not adequately 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
Poisson regression
Strength of associations reported
Results presented for associations for at least 5 deaths, RR > 1.5 and p < 0.05.
All ages
Secretaries and stenographers RR 1.83 (1.21-2.75), 23 deaths
Women aged 65 and under
Dressmakers and seamstresses RR 2.02 (1.19-3.42), 14 deaths
Metal fitters and assemblers RR 2.15 (1.12-4.15), 9 deaths
Results Comments
Average duration of follow up was 26 years.
Author address
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. aronson@post.queensu.ca