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Prostate. 1998 Feb 1;34(2):100-12.

Prostate cancer in pesticide applicators in Swedish agriculture.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



The use of chemicals in agriculture has been associated with elevated risks of prostate cancer. The aim of this study was to analyze prostate cancer risk in a cohort of 20,025 pesticide applicators in agriculture licensed between 1965-1976.


The cohort was followed up in the Swedish Cancer Register from date of licence until death of December 31, 1991. The mean follow-up time was 21.3 years.


We found a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer with 401 cases observed compared to 355 expected, with a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of 1.13 (95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.24). There were 7 cases among those born in 1935 or later, and the SIR was 2.03 (0.82-4.19). For those born earlier than 1935 the SIR was 1.12 (1.01-1.24).


These findings of a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer, together with recent results from other studies, imply a relationship between agrochemicals or other risk factors in the environment of farmers and prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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