Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Cancer incidence in the workers cohort of textile manufacturing factory in Alytus, Lithuania
Kuzmickiene, I., Didziapetris, R., Stukonis, M. J Occup Environ Med. 2004. 46:2, 147-53.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Occupation
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 9155 females
Cohort participation rate
2.9% loss to follow-up
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Employed at least one year at textile factory in Alytus, Lithuania 1978-1997. Compared with population mortality.
Comment about participation selection
Average age of cohort at the end of follow-up was 45.2 years, median 45 years: young for breast cancer.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Cotton dust, pesticides (from cotton), formaldehyde, phenol, inorganic acids, aromatic amines, silicon dioxide, bacterial, mold. Factory began production in 1969. Monitoring for cotton dust and chemicals in ambient air in production rooms shows variatio
Exposure assessment comment
Specific exposures unknown.
Statistical Analysis
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.
Breast cancer risk factors 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
67 breast cancers observed. SIR 1.14 (0.88-1.45). Spinning and weaving SIR 1.49 (1.08-2.00). Less than 10 years employment SIR 1.42 ( 0.95-2.06). Employed at least 10 years SIR 1.61 (0.92-2.62).
Results Comments
Cohort is young for breast cancer. Confounding by physical activity and "health worker" effects are likely.
Author address
Institute of Oncology, Vilnius University, Lithuania. ikuzmickiene@centras.lt