Occupational exposures contribute to educational inequalities in lung cancer incidence among men: Evidence from the EPIC prospective cohort study.
International journal of cancer 2009 ; 126: 1928-1935.
Menvielle G, Boshuizen H, Kunst AE, Vineis P, Dalton SO, Bergmann MM, Hermann S, Veglia F, Ferrari P, Overvad K, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Tjønneland A, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, Palli D, Krogh V, Tumino R, Rodriguez L, Agudo A, Sánchez MJ, Arozena JMA, Cirera L, Ardanaz E, Bingham S, Khaw KT, Boffetta P, Duell E, Slimani N, Gallo V, Riboli E, and Bueno-de-Mesquita HB
DOI : 10.1002/ijc.24924
PubMed ID : 19810107
PMCID : PMC2873305
The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent occupational exposures may explain socioeconomic inequalities in lung cancer incidence after adjusting for smoking and dietary factors. Analyses were based on a subsample of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC study), a prospective cohort. The analyses included 703 incident lung cancer cases among men in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece. The socioeconomic position was measured using the highest level of education. The estimates of relative indices of inequality (RII) were computed with Cox regression models. We first adjusted for smoking (with detailed information on duration and quantity) and dietary factors (fruits and vegetables consumption) and then for occupational exposures. The exposure to three carcinogens [asbestos, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)] was analyzed. The occupational exposures explained 14% of the socioeconomic inequalities remaining after adjustment for smoking and fruits and vegetables consumption. The inequalities remained nevertheless statistically significant. The RII decreased from 1.87 (95% CI: 1.36-2.56) to 1.75 (1.27-2.41). The decrease was more pronounced when adjusting for asbestos than for heavy metals or PAH. Analyses by birth cohort suggested an effect of occupational exposures among older men, while due to small number of endpoints, no conclusion could be drawn about the role of occupational exposures in educational inequalities among younger men. Our study revealed that the impact of occupational exposures on socioeconomic inequalities in cancer incidence, rarely studied until now, exists while of modest magnitude.