ACS 2019: Proximity to Oil Refineries and Risk of Bladder Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis

San Francisco, California ( Dr. Preston Kerr discussed how exposure to aromatic amines is a risk factor for bladder cancer. Incidence rates according to proximity to oil refineries are largely unknown. They sought to determine the proximity of oil refineries and bladder cancer incidence in the State of Texas which is home to the largest number of oil refineries in the United States. 
They used the Texas Cancer Registry database to identify patients diagnosed with bladder cancer from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2014. 
The U.S. census data from 2010 was used to ascertain overall population size, age, and sex distributions. Heat maps of the 28 active oil refineries in Texas were developed. The incidence of bladder cancer was compared according to proximity (<10 vs. ≥ 10 miles) to an oil refinery. Risk ratios were adjusted using a Poisson regression model. 
A total of 45,517 incident bladder cancer cases were identified of which 5,501 cases were within 10 miles of an oil refinery. In adjusted analyses, bladder cancer risk was significantly greater among males vs. females (Relative Risk (RR) 3.41, 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 3.33-3.50), and greater among people living within 10 miles from an oil refinery than those living outside a 10-mile radius from an oil refinery (RR 1.19, 95% CI, 1.08-1.31). 
In summary, people living within 10 miles from oil refineries were at greater risk for bladder cancer. Further research into exposure to oil refineries and bladder cancer incidence is warranted. It should be noted these data are derived at the zip code level (not individual), retrospective and lack granularity as well as causation but provide hypothesis generating information for a future individual level investigation. 

Presented by: Preston S. Kerr, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas