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Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Sep;132(3):453-61.

Occupational risks of bladder cancer among white women in the United States.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Etiology, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The relation between occupation and bladder cancer in women was examined based on data collected during the National Bladder Cancer Study, a population-based, case-control study conducted in 10 areas of the United States. Occupational hazards among women have received little attention in previous bladder cancer studies, in part because most studies have included too few females to accurately estimate risks. In this large case-control study, 652 white female bladder cancer patients and 1,266 white female controls were interviewed to obtain lifetime occupational histories. Patterns of bladder cancer risk by occupation in women tended to be similar to those previously observed among men. Increased risk was apparent for women ever employed in metal working and fabrication occupations (relative risk (RR) = 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.6). Within this summary occupation category, punch and stamping press operatives had a significant trend in risk with increasing duration of employment (p = 0.012); the RR for women employed 5 years or more was 5.6 (95% CI 1.4-26.4). The authors also observed an increased risk for women employed as chemical processing workers (RR = 2.1; 95% CI 0.9-5.1 = with a significant, contrast, a decreased risk was apparent for female textile workers (RR = 0.6; 95% CI 0.3-1.1) with a significant, negative trend in risk with increasing duration of employment (p = 0.031); the relative risk for textile workers employed 10 years or more was 0.4. The authors estimate that 11% of bladder cancer diagnosed among white women in the United States is attributable to occupational exposures; this percentage is considerably lower than the 21-25% previously reported for white men in this study.

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