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Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Nov;115(11):1569-72.

Total fluid and water consumption and the joint effect of exposure to disinfection by-products on risk of bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



Findings on water and total fluid intake and bladder cancer are inconsistent; this may, in part, be due to different levels of carcinogens in drinking water. High levels of arsenic and chlorinated by-products in drinking water have been associated with elevated bladder cancer risk in most studies. A pooled analysis based on six case-control studies observed a positive association between tap water and bladder cancer but none for nontap fluid intake, suggesting that contaminants in tap water may be responsible for the excess risk.


We examined the association between total fluid and water consumption and bladder cancer risk, as well as the interaction between water intake and trihalomethane (THM) exposure, in a large case-control study in Spain.


A total of 397 bladder cancer cases and 664 matched controls were available for this analysis. Odds ratios (OR) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, controlling for potential confounders.


Total fluid intake was associated with a decrease in bladder cancer risk [OR = 0.62; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.40-0.95 for highest vs. lowest quintile comparison]. A significant inverse association was observed for water intake (for > 1,399 vs. < 400 mL/day, OR = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.33-0.66; p for trend < 0.0001), but not for other individual beverages. The inverse association between water intake and bladder cancer persisted within each level of THM exposure; we found no statistical interaction (p for interaction = 0.13).


Findings from this study suggest that water intake is inversely associated with bladder cancer risk, regardless of THM exposure level.


bladder cancer; case–control study; chlorination by-products; fluid intake; water intake

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