Occupational risk factors for brain cancer: a population-based case-control study in Iowa

J Occup Environ Med. 2001 Apr;43(4):317-24. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200104000-00005.


A number of occupations and industries have been inconsistently associated with the risk of brain cancer. To further explore possible relationships, we conducted a population-based case-control study of brain glioma in the state of Iowa, involving 375 histologically confirmed incident cases and 2434 population-based controls. Among men, the industries and/or occupations that had a significantly increased risk for employment of more than 10 years included roofing, siding, and sheet metalworking; newspaper work; rubber and plastics products, particularly tires and inner tubes; miscellaneous manufacturing industries; wholesale trade of durable goods, grain, and field beans; cleaning and building service occupations; miscellaneous mechanics and repairers; and janitors and cleaners. Subjects who worked in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning; electrical services; gasoline service stations; and military occupations also experienced a significantly increased risk. Among women, significant excess risk was observed for occupations in agricultural services and farming, apparel and textile products, electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing, various retail sales, record-keeping, and restaurant service. Workers in industries with a potential for gasoline or motor exhaust exposures experienced a non-significant excess risk of brain glioma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupations
  • Risk Factors