Occupational exposures, animal exposure and smoking as risk factors for hairy cell leukaemia evaluated in a case-control study

Abstract

To evaluate occupational exposures as risk factors for hairy cell leukaemia (HCL), a population-based case-control study on 121 male HCL patients and 484 controls matched for age and sex was conducted. Elevated odds ratio (OR) was found for exposure to farm animals in general: OR 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.2. The ORs were elevated for exposure to cattle, horse, hog, poultry and sheep. Exposure to herbicides (OR 2.9, CI 1.4-5.9), insecticides (OR 2.0, CI 1.1-3.5), fungicides (OR 3.8, CI 1.4-9.9) and impregnating agents (OR 2.4, CI 1.3-4.6) also showed increased risk. Certain findings suggested that recall bias may have affected the results for farm animals, herbicides and insecticides. Exposure to organic solvents yielded elevated risk (OR 1.5, CI 0.99-2.3), as did exposure to exhaust fumes (OR 2.1, CI 1.3-3.3). In an additional multivariate model, the ORs remained elevated for all these exposures with the exception of insecticides. We found a reduced risk for smokers with OR 0.6 (CI 0.4-1.1) because of an effect among non-farmers.

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Nordström, M., Hardell, L., Magnuson, A. et al. Occupational exposures, animal exposure and smoking as risk factors for hairy cell leukaemia evaluated in a case-control study. Br J Cancer 77, 2048–2052 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1998.341

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