Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Mol Mutagen. 2014 Dec;55(9):751-6. doi: 10.1002/em.21894. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

Domestic incense burning and nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a case-control study in Hong Kong Chinese.

Author information

Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong, China.


Incense burning is a powerful producer of carcinogens and has been considered as a risk factor for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). We conducted a case-control study and case-only analyses to investigate the effect of incense burning and its interaction with genetic background on NPC risk among Hong Kong Chinese. Between June 2010 and December 2012, we recruited 352 incident cases of NPC and 410 controls. We collected information on lifelong practice of domestic incense burning via interviews and genotyped 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair genes. We observed an increased NPC risk associated with daily burning in women [Adjusted OR = 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33, 4.66] but not in men. The adjusted OR for daily burning with poor ventilation was 2.08 (95% CI: 1.02, 4.24), while that with good ventilation was 1.35 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.98). Interactions between 2 SNPs (rs2074517 and rs4771436) and incense burning were significantly associated with NPC risk and tended to have a SNP exposure-response effect. Evidence for gene-environment interactions supported the knowledge that NPC is a multi-factorial disease resulting from the joint effects of environmental exposures and inherited susceptibility.


DNA repair; etiology; gene-environment interaction; incense; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; risk factor

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center