The health watch case - control study of leukemia and benzene:the story so far

Glass, Deborah, Gray, Christopher, Jolley, Damien, Gibbons, Carl and Sim, Malcolm 2006, The health watch case - control study of leukemia and benzene:the story so far, Annals of the New York academy of sciences, vol. 1076, pp. 80-89, doi: 10.1196/annals.1371.024.

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Title The health watch case - control study of leukemia and benzene:the story so far
Author(s) Glass, Deborah
Gray, Christopher
Jolley, Damien
Gibbons, Carl
Sim, Malcolm
Journal name Annals of the New York academy of sciences
Volume number 1076
Start page 80
End page 89
Publisher New York Academy of Sciences
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2006-09
ISSN 0077-8923
Keyword(s) Case–control study
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Multiple myeloma
Petroleum industry
Summary A case–control study nested in the Health Watch cohort of petroleum industry workers, investigated whether the excess of lymphohematopoetic cancers, identified among male members of the Health Watch cohort, was associated with benzene exposure. Cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (n=31),multiple myeloma (n=15), and leukemia (n=33)were identified between 1981 and 1999. Cases were age-matched to five controls. Exposure was retrospectively estimated for each occupational history using an algorithm in a relational database. Benzene exposure measurements, supplied by Australian petroleum companies, were used to estimate exposure for specific tasks. The tasks carried out within the job, the products handled, and the technology used,were identified from interviews with contemporary colleagues. More than half of the subjects started work after 1965 and had an average exposure period of 20 years. Exposure was low, 85% of the cumulative exposure estimates were<10 ppm years. Matched analyses showed that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma were not associated with benzene exposure. Leukemia risk, however, was significantly increased for the subjects with greater than 16 ppm years cumulative exposure, odds ratio (OR) 51.9 (5.6–477) or with greater than 0.8 ppm intensity of highest exposed job. Cumulative exposures were similar to those found in comparable studies.The inclusion of occasional high exposures, for example, as a result of spillages, reduced the ORs, when the exposure was treated as either a continuous or a categorical variable. Our data demonstrate a strong association between leukemia and modest benzene exposure. The choice of cut-point and reference group has a marked effect on the ORs, but does not change the overall conclusions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1196/annals.1371.024
Field of Research 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2006, New York Academy of Sciences
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