A Multicenter Case-Control Study in Italy on Hematolymphopoietic Neoplasms and Occupation

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We conducted a population-based, case-control study on hematolymphopoietic malignancies in 12 areas in Italy to investigate associations between different hematolymphopoietic malignancies and exposure to solvents and pesticides. We collected all incident cases 20–74 years of age from 12 areas, with a combined population of approximately 7 million residents. The control group was formed by a random sample of the study population. Data presented in this paper refer to 2,737 interviewed cases of 3,357 eligible cases and to 1,779 of 2,391 eligible controls. We analyzed risks associated with occupation using job-title information to evaluate disease pattern according to job category. An earlier publication presented results for women; here, we report the findings for men and discuss the overall patterns in both genders. The most consistent overall finding was an approximate doubling in relative risk for all four types of malignancies among male managers and related occupations. Several additional occupations were associated with elevated risk of one or more malignancies among men. These included cooks, waiters, and bartenders, and building caretakers and cleaners, for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; textile workers and machinery fitters for Hodgkin’s lymphoma; metal processors, material handlers, rubber workers, and painters for leukemia; and hairdressers, metal processors, tailors, electrical workers, and plumbers for multiple myeloma. The finding of increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among both male and female cooks, waiters, and bartenders has not been previously reported; nor has the elevated risk of leukemia among material handlers. Among people engaged in agriculture, those employed as tractor drivers and as “orchard, vineyard, and related tree and shrub workers” appeared to be at increased risk for hematolymphopoietic malignancies.

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