Occupation and bladder cancer risk in a population-based case-control study in New Hampshire

Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Oct;15(8):759-69. doi: 10.1023/B:CACO.0000043426.28741.a2.


Objective: To identify occupations with excess bladder cancer risk in New Hampshire, where bladder cancer mortality rates have been elevated for decades.

Methods: Lifetime occupational histories were obtained from interviews with 424 cases and 645 controls in a population-based case-control study. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (Ors) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each occupation, adjusted for age and smoking. Analyses by duration of employment were carried out and interactions with smoking were examined.

Results: Male tractor-trailer truck drivers had an elevated risk for bladder cancer (OR = 2.4, CI = 1.4-4.1), with a significant positive trend in risk with increasing duration of employment (P (trend) = 0.0003). Male metal/plastic processing machine operators also had a significant excess (OR = 4.9, CI = 1.6-15.1), attributable mainly to molding/casting machine operators (OR = 16.6, CI = 2.1-131). Elevated risk was also observed for male fabricators, assemblers, and hand workers (OR = 1.8, CI = 1.0-3.4). Women in certain sales occupations (sales clerks, counter clerks, and cashiers) had a significant excess risk (OR = 2.2, CI = 1.3-3.9) and a significant trend with duration of employment (P (trend) = 0.016), as did female health service workers (OR = 4.1, CI = 1.6-10.7; P (trend) = 0.014). There was a positive interaction between smoking and employment as a health service worker (p = 0.036).

Conclusions: These findings are generally consistent with previous studies. Elevated risks for male molding/casting machine operators, female salesworkers, and female health service workers, especially those with a history of smoking, require further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupations*
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology*