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Am J Ind Med. 1999 Jul;36(1):54-9.

Gender differences in risk of renal cell carcinoma and occupational exposures to chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons.

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Occupational Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Organic solvents have been associated with renal cell cancer; however, the risk by gender and type of solvents is nuclear.


We evaluated the risk of renal cell carcinoma among men and women exposed to all organic solvents-combined, all chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHC)-combined, and nine individual CAHC using a priori job exposure matrices developed by NCI in a population-based case-control study in Minnesota, U.S. We interviewed 438 renal cell cancer cases (273 men and 165 women) and 687 controls (462 men and 225 women).


Overall, 34% of male cases and 21% of female cases were exposed to organic solvents in general. The risk of renal cell carcinoma was significantly elevated among women exposed to all organic solvents combined (OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.3-4.2), to CAHC combined (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.1-3.9), and to trichloroethylene (TCE) (OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.0-4.0). Among men, no significant excess risk was observed among men exposed to any of these nine individual CAHCs, all CAHCs-combined, or all organic solvents-combined.


These observed gender differences in risk of renal cell carcinoma in relation to exposure to organic solvents may be explained by chance based on small numbers, or by the differences in body fat content, metabolic activity, the rate of elimination of xenobiotics from the body, or by differences in the level of exposure between men and women, even though they have the same job title.

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