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Tumori. 1993 Oct 31;79(5):301-3.

Asbestos exposure, physical activity and colon cancer: a case-control study.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Oncologia Umana, Main Hospital and University of Torino, Italy.



An association between colon cancer and the occupation of model or pattern maker in the car industry has been repeatedly suggested. The aim of our study was to investigate colon cancer and occupational exposures (in particular in the car industry) in an industrialized area of northern Italy.


We conducted a hospital-based case-referent study on colon cancer (n = 131; hospital controls, n = 463). All subjects were interviewed, and jobs in the car industry were investigated. Occupational exposure to asbestos and the level of physical activity were blindly assessed. All the jobs were classified according to energy expenditure (less than 8, 8-12 and more than 12 kJ/min).


We found no association between colon cancer and any job in the car industry. No subject had worked as a model or pattern maker. Sedentary work was associated with colon cancer in men but not in women. An excess risk was demonstrated among males for job titles involving putative exposure to asbestos (4 cases and 3 controls; OR = 4.8, 95% c.i. 1.05-21.5), in particular pipe fitters and boilermakers (3 cases and 1 control; OR = 10.7; 1.07-103).

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