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Am J Public Health. 1996 Sep;86(9):1289-96.

Cancer risk and residential proximity to cranberry cultivation in Massachusetts.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Boston University School of PPublic Health, MA 02118, USA.



This study evaluated the relationship between cancer risk and residential proximity to cranberry cultivation.


A population-based case-control study was conducted. Cases, diagnosed during 1983 through 1986 among residents of the Upper Cape Cod area of Massachusetts, involved incident cancers of the lung (n = 252), breast (n = 265), colon-rectum (n = 326), bladder (n = 63), kidney (n = 35), pancreas (n = 37), and brain (n = 37), along with leukemia (n = 35). Control subjects were randomly selected from among telephone subscribers (n = 184), Medicare beneficiaries (n = 464), and deceased individuals (n = 723).


No meaningful increases in risk were seen for any of the cancer sites except for the brain. When latency was considered, subjects who had ever lived within 2600 ft (780 m) of a cranberry bog had a twofold increased risk of brain cancer overall (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.8, 4.9) and a 6.7-fold increased risk of astrocytoma (95% CI = 1.6, 27.8).


Residential proximity to cranberry bog cultivation was not associated with seven of the eight cancers investigated; however, an association was observed with brain cancer, particularly astrocytoma. Larger, more detailed studies are necessary to elucidate this relationship.

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