Occupational exposure to pesticides and bladder cancer risk

In the developed world, occupational exposures are a leading cause of bladder cancer. A few studies have suggested a link between pesticide exposures among agricultural populations and bladder cancer.

We used data from the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study which includes 57 310 pesticide applicators with detailed information on pesticide use, to evaluate the association between pesticides and bladder cancer. We used Poisson regression to calculate rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to estimate the association between each of 65 pesticides and 321 incident bladder cancer cases which accrued over the course of follow-up (1993-2011), adjusting for lifestyle and demographic and non-pesticide farm-related exposures, including those previously linked to bladder cancer. We conducted additional analyses stratified by smoking status (never, former, current).

We observed associations with bladder cancer risk for two imidazolinone herbicides, imazethapyr and imazaquin, which are aromatic amines. Ever use of imazaquin (RR = 1. 54, 95% CI: 1. 05, 2. 26) was associated with increased risk whereas the excess risk among users of imazethapyr was evident among never smokers (RR in highest quartile vs non-exposed = 3. 03, 95% CI: 1. 46, 6. 29, P-interaction = 0. 005). We also observed increased risks overall and among never smokers for use of several chlorinated pesticides including chlorophenoxy herbicides and organochlorine insecticides.

Several associations between specific pesticides and bladder cancer risk were observed, many of which were stronger among never smokers, suggesting that possible risk factors for bladder cancer may be more readily detectable in those unexposed to potent risk factors like tobacco smoke.

International journal of epidemiology. 2015 Sep 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Stella Koutros, Debra T Silverman, Michael Cr Alavanja, Gabriella Andreotti, Catherine C Lerro, Sonya Heltshe, Charles F Lynch, Dale P Sandler, Aaron Blair, Laura E Beane Freeman

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. , Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Seattle, WA, USA. , College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA and. , Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA. , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

PubMed

E-Newsletters

Newsletter subscription

Free Daily and Weekly newsletters offered by content of interest

The fields of GU Oncology and Urology are rapidly advancing. Sign up today for articles, videos, conference highlights and abstracts from peer-review publications by disease and condition delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Subscribe