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Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Mar 19;184(1-2):129-46. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2009.10.016. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

A hospital-based case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoid neoplasms in Shanghai: analysis of environmental and occupational risk factors by subtypes of the WHO classification.

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  • 1Applied Health Sciences, San Mateo, CA 94401, USA.


The objectives were (1) to investigate potential environmental and occupational risk factors of non-Hodgkin lymphoid neoplasms (NHLN), and (2) to explore the relationships between risk factors and NHLN subtypes according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. The investigation was a hospital-based case-control study consisting of 649 newly diagnosed NHLN cases (August 2003 through January 2008) and 1298 individually gender-age-matched patient controls at 25 hospitals in Shanghai. A 17-page questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographics, medical history, family history, lifestyle risk factors, employment history, residential history, and occupational and non-occupational exposures. Certain occupations of interest triggered a second questionnaire, which was occupation-specific and asked for more details about jobs, tasks, materials used and work environment. Exposure assessments were based on the questionnaires, on-site workplace investigations, data published in the Chinese literature, historical exposure measurements maintained by government health agencies, and expert opinions of a panel of local scientists who were familiar with workplaces in Shanghai. Risk estimates (odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals) of individual risk factors were calculated using conditional logistic regression models. A number of potential environmental and occupational risk factors were associated with an increased risk of NHLN (all subtypes combined) and/or individual subtypes; including home/workplace renovation, living on a farm, planting crops, raising livestock or animals, farm workers, fabric sewing and cutting workers, welders and sheet metal workers, masonry and plastering workers, product and chemical testing workers, toy manufacturing, agriculture industry, and beauty salon. Exposures associated with an increased risk of NHLN (all subtypes combined) and/or individual subtypes included benzene, solvents, petroleum fuels, metals, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and glues and adhesives. Multivariate models were used to adjust for potential confounding exposures, and several potential risk factors were subsequently eliminated. The results of the investigation indicated that some risk factors applied to all or most subtypes (e.g., insecticides and overall NHLN and subtypes of B-cell lymphoid neoplasms), while others to specific subtypes only (e.g., benzene and follicular lymphoma). Thus, some risk factors were subtype-specific. The difference in risk by subtype underscores the importance of the etiologic commonality and heterogeneity of NHLN subtypes.

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