Background: An increased risk of exposure to pesticides for pancreatic cancer has been suggested in a number of epidemiologic studies.
Methods: Cases (N = 484), aged 30-79 years, were diagnosed in 1986-1989. Controls (N = 2,095) were a random sample of the general population. Information on usual occupation and potential confounding factors was obtained. A job-exposure matrix (JEM) approach was used to estimate the level of occupational exposure to pesticides.
Results: A significant trend in risk with increasing exposure level of pesticides was observed, with ORs of 1.3 and 1.4 for low and moderate/high exposure levels, respectively. Excess risks were found for occupational exposure to fungicides (OR = 1.5) and herbicides (OR = 1.6) in the moderate/high level after adjustment for potential confounding factors. An increased risk for insecticide exposure was disappeared after adjustment for fungicide and herbicide exposures. Results of our occupation-based analysis were consistent with those from the JEM-based analysis.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that pesticides may increase risk of pancreatic cancer, and indicate the need for investigations that can evaluate risk by specific chemical exposures. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.