Objective: In a prospective cohort study among 120,852 adult subjects the authors investigated the associations between cigarette, cigar, pipe, environmental tobacco smoking (ETS), and bladder cancer.
Methods: In 1986 all subjects completed a questionnaire on cancer risk factors. Follow-up for incident bladder cancer was established by linkage to cancer registries until 1992. The case-cohort analysis was based on 619 cases and 3346 subcohort members.
Results: Compared with lifelong non-smokers the age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate ratios (RR) for ex- and current cigarette smokers were 2.1 (95% CI 1.5-3.0) and 3.3 (95% CI 2.4-4.6), respectively. The RR for smoking duration was 1.03 (95% CI: 1.02-1.04) per 1-year increment. The RR per 10 cigarettes/day was 1.3 (95% CI 1.2-1.4). Tar and nicotine exposure increased bladder cancer risk only weakly. It appeared that associations of cigarette smoking characteristics with bladder cancer risk were largely attributable to cigarette smoking duration only. Smoking cessation, age at first exposure, filter-tip usage, cigar and pipe smoking, and ETS were no longer associated with bladder cancer risk after adjustment for frequency and duration of smoking.
Conclusions: The authors conclude that current cigarette smokers have a three-fold higher bladder cancer risk than non-smokers. Ex-smokers experience a two-fold increased risk. About half of male bladder cancer and one-fifth of female bladder cancer was attributable to cigarette smoking. Other smoking types (cigar, pipe, or ETS) were not associated with increased risks.