Journal Article

Pesticides and Lung Cancer Risk in the Agricultural Health Study Cohort

Michael C. R. Alavanja, Mustafa Dosemeci, Claudine Samanic, Jay Lubin, Charles F. Lynch, Charles Knott, Joseph Barker, Jane A. Hoppin, Dale P. Sandler, Joseph Coble, Kent Thomas and Aaron Blair

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 9, pages 876-885
Published in print November 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online November 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwh290
Pesticides and Lung Cancer Risk in the Agricultural Health Study Cohort

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The authors examined the relation between 50 widely used agricultural pesticides and lung cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 57,284 pesticide applicators and 32,333 spouses of farmer applicators with no prior history of lung cancer. Self-administered questionnaires were completed at enrollment (1993–1997). Cancer incidence was determined through population-based cancer registries from enrollment through December 31, 2001. A lung cancer standardized incidence ratio of 0.44 (95% confidence interval: 0.39, 0.49) was observed overall, due in large part to a low cigarette smoking prevalence. Two widely used herbicides, metolachlor and pendimethalin (for low-exposed groups to four higher exposure categories: odds ratio (OR) = 1.0, 1.6, 1.2, 5.0; ptrend = 0.0002; and OR = 1.0, 1.6, 2.1, 4.4; ptrend = 0.003, respectively), and two widely used insecticides, chlorpyrifos and diazinon (OR = 1.0, 1.1, 1.7, 1.9; ptrend = 0.03; and OR = 1.0, 1.6, 2.7, 3.7; ptrend = 0.04, respectively), showed some evidence of exposure response for lung cancer. These excesses could not be explained by previously identified lung cancer risk factors. The usage levels in this cohort are considerably higher than those typically experienced by the general population. An excess risk among spouses directly exposed to pesticides could not be evaluated at this time.

Keywords: lung neoplasms; pesticides; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  6082 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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