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Int J Epidemiol. 1995 Feb;24(1):51-7.

Occupation, smoking and demographic factors, and renal cell carcinoma in Germany.

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German Cancer Research Center, Division of Epidemiology, Heidelberg.



The role of occupational exposure in the aetiology of renal cell cancer is still not clear. In a population-based, case-control study we investigated occupational and smoking history as well as place of residence, marital and socioeconomic status.


In a case-control study in Germany, 277 adult cases with incident renal cell cancer and 286 controls frequency-matched to the cases for age and gender have been interviewed. The data were analysed by standard methods using unconditional logistic regression models, to estimate the relative risk (RR) and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (95% CI).


Socioeconomic status was inversely associated (RR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.3-1.2 for highest category) with the risk for renal cell cancer. Heavy smoking gave an increased, but not significant (about twofold) RR in men and women for ex-smokers and current smokers. Employment in metal-related industries (RR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.1-2.5) was also identified as a risk factor. Additionally, we found an elevated risk associated with exposure to perchloroethylene and tetrachlorocarbonate (RR = 2.52, 95% CI: 1.2-5.2) but no time trend could be observed. No associations were found for other occupational exposures, such as working in the chemical industry, transportation or farming nor for exposure to pesticides.


The results of our study lead to the suggestion that smoking, occupation and demographic factors probably play a minor role in the aetiology of renal cell cancer.

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