Cancer incidence within a cohort occupationally exposed to asbestos: a study of dose-response relationships

The aim of the present study was to analyse the dose-response relationship between occupational asbestos exposure and risk of cancer. The study was a retrospective morbidity study based on 2024 subjects occupationally exposed to asbestos, conducted over the period 1 January 1978 to 31 December 2004. Analysis of the dose-response relationship between occupational asbestos exposure, as a time-dependant variable, and risk of cancer was performed using a Cox model. In order to account for the effect of latency, the authors conducted the analysis with a lag of 10 years. Two hundred and eighty-five cases of cancers were observed in the cohort. The relative risk of pleuro-peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer and colorectal cancer associated with asbestos exposure, adjusted for age as a time-dependant variable and for sex, was correlated with exposure intensity (or average exposure level, AEL). The risk of cancer, whatever the anatomical site; did not increase with the duration of exposure to asbestos. The authors concluded that while confirming the established relationship between asbestos exposure and pleuropulmonary and peritoneal cancers, this study also suggests a causal relationship between asbestos exposure and colorectal cancer.

Authors: Clin, Benedicte; Morlais, Fabrice; Launoy, Guy; Guizard, Anne-Valerie; Dubois, Brice; Bouvier, Veronique; Desoubeaux, Nelly; Marquignon, Marie-France; Raffaelli, Claude; Paris, Christophe; Galateau-Salle, Francoise; Guittet, Lydia; Letourneux, Marc ;Full Source: Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011, 68(11), 832-836 (Eng) ;