Case-control study on occupational exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer risk

Am J Ind Med. 1990;17(5):577-91. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700170504.


The association between lung cancer and occupations with probable exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) was studied among 2,584 cases and 5,099 hospital controls. The crude odds ratio (OR) for probable exposure was 1.31 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.57), but adjustment for smoking and other confounders reduced the estimate to 0.95 (95% CI = 0.78-1.16). Similar results were observed for truck drivers, the only occupational category large enough for separate analysis. Data on self-reported exposure for 477 cases and 946 controls revealed a crude OR of 1.45 (95% CI = 0.93-2.27), which was reduced to 1.21 (95% CI = 0.78-2.02) after controlling for smoking and other confounders. The present results and a review of the literature do not definitively support an etiologic association between DE exposure and elevated lung cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vehicle Emissions / poisoning*


  • Vehicle Emissions