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Cancer Causes Control. 1994 Sep;5(5):449-57.

Cancer risks among female farmers in Sweden.

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Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


There are few studies on cancer risks among female farmers, particularly on breast cancer and cancer in female genital organs. We have conducted a cohort study of cancer risk among 50,682 women with occupations in agriculture according to the Swedish 1970 census. The cohort was followed up in the nationwide, population-based, Cancer-Environment Register from 1 January 1971 until death or until 31 December 1987. Expected number of cases was based on annual cancer incidence in five-year age groups. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was computed as the ratio between observed and expected number of cases. A total of 4,474 cases of cancer were observed in the cohort from 1971 until 1987 cf 5,273 expected, resulting in a significantly decreased SIR of 0.85 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.82-0.87). SIR for breast cancer was significantly decreased (0.83, CI = 0.78-0.88), as was the SIR for cervix uteri (0.40, CI = 0.31-0.50). For the other female genital organs, SIR was close to one. Other cancer sites with significantly decreased SIRs were: colon (0.90, CI = 0.81-1.00); rectum (0.86, CI = 0.74-1.00); lung (0.46, CI = 0.37-0.57); kidney (0.81, CI = 0.68-0.97); urinary organs (0.57, CI = 0.45-0.72); connective tissue and muscle (0.62, CI = 0.39-0.95); and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (0.78, CI = 0.63-0.96).

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