Background: Workplace exposures may be related to the development of brain tumors. In this case-control study, we examine occupation as a risk factor for meningioma and acoustic neuroma.
Methods: A lifetime work history was obtained for 197 incident cases of meningioma, 96 cases of acoustic neuroma and 799 controls with non-malignant diseases enrolled from three hospitals in the United States between 1994 and 1998. Jobs considered to have similar tasks and chemical exposures were assigned to an occupational group. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) adjusted for study matching factors (hospital, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and proximity of residence to the hospital) and education.
Results: Elevated risk of meningioma was observed for individuals who had ever worked in the following occupational groups: auto body painters, designers and decorators, military occupations, industrial production supervisors, teachers, and managers. For acoustic neuroma, increased risk was noted for having worked as an athlete, gas station attendant, purchasing agent, sales representative, or teacher.
Conclusions: Although limited by multiple comparisons and the relatively small number of cases and controls in many occupational groups, these results nevertheless provide clues that deserve additional study in future epidemiologic studies.