Occupational exposures and risk of stomach and oesophageal cancers: Update of a cohort of female textile workers in Shanghai, China

Associations between stomach and oesophageal cancer and exposures to dusts, metals, chemicals, and endotoxin in the workplace are not very well understood, particularly in women. In this study, the authors followed 267,400 female textile workers in Shanghai, China for cancer incidence from 1989 to 2006. Stomach (n=1374) and oesophageal (n=190) cancer cases were identified and a comparison subcohort (n=3187) was randomly selected. Cox proportional hazard modelling was used, adjusting for age and smoking. Increasing stomach cancer risk was observed with increasing duration of synthetic fibre dust exposure (p=0.03), although the magnitude of effect was small (20 + years: HR=1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.4). Trends with endotoxin exposure were modestly inversed for oesophageal cancer and increased for stomach cancer, but with little deviation from a null association. The authors concluded that the findings demonstrate that long durations of synthetic fibre dust exposure can increase stomach cancer risk in women, but provide limited support for associations with other textile industry exposures.

Authors: Gallagher LG, Li W, Ray RM, Romano ME, Wernli KJ, Gao DL, Thomas DB, Checkoway H. ;Full Source: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2015 Mar;58(3):267-75. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22412. Epub 2015 Jan 21. ;