Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 35 (6), 446-53

Cancer Incidence Among Large Cohort of Female Danish Registered Nurses

Affiliations

Cancer Incidence Among Large Cohort of Female Danish Registered Nurses

Trille Kristina Kjaer et al. Scand J Work Environ Health.

Abstract

Background: Nurses are potentially exposed to carcinogens in their working environment. We investigated the risks for 21 types of cancers in Danish nurses.

Methods: We identified 92 140 female nurses from the computerized files of the Danish Nurses' Association. By record linkage, we reconstructed information on employment since 1964 using data from a national pension fund; information on vital status and reproduction was obtained from the Central Population Register. Each woman was followed-up from 1980-2003 in the Danish Cancer Registry. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Using Poisson regression models, we made internal comparisons in subgroups of nurses, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: We documented 8410 cancers during follow-up and found significantly increased SIR for breast cancer (SIR 1.1, 95% CI 1.1-1.2), cancers of the brain and nervous system (SIR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3), melanoma (SIR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3), and other skin cancers (SIR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.2). Significantly decreased risks were observed for alcohol- and tobacco-related cancers. Nurses who were accredited by the Association after 1981 had significantly increased risks for thyroid cancer (SIR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.5) and cancers of the brain and nervous system (SIR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.9). Former nurses had significantly increased SIR for all cancers combined and breast cancer the first ten years after leaving the profession. In a Poisson regression analysis of breast cancer and duration of employment in hospitals, adjusted for reproductive factors, nurses had an increase risk the first 25 years of employment, but not for longer periods.

Conclusion: The increased risk of breast cancer and the decreased risk of alcohol- and tobacco-related cancers support the findings of most other studies on nurses. The elevated risks for cancers of the breast, brain, nervous system, and thyroid warrant further study.

Similar articles

  • Cancer Risk Among Danish Women With Cosmetic Breast Implants
    S Friis et al. Int J Cancer 118 (4), 998-1003. PMID 16152592.
    The available epidemiologic evidence does not support a carcinogenic effect of silicone breast implants on breast or other cancers. Data on cancer risk other than breast …
  • Cancer Risk Among 43000 Norwegian Nurses
    JA Lie et al. Scand J Work Environ Health 33 (1), 66-73. PMID 17353967.
    The results indicate an association between working as a nurse and an increased risk of breast cancer and malignant melanoma. Decreased risks, found for several cancers, …
  • Risk of Breast Cancer in Female Flight Attendants: A Population-Based Study (Iceland)
    V Rafnsson et al. Cancer Causes Control 12 (2), 95-101. PMID 11246849.
    The increased risk of breast cancer and malignant melanoma among cabin attendants seems to be occupationally related. The part played by occupational exposures, i.e. cosm …
  • Work-related Cancer in the Nordic Countries
    A Andersen et al. Scand J Work Environ Health 25 Suppl 2, 1-116. PMID 10507118. - Review
    This report presents 20 years' of cancer incidence data by occupational group for the Nordic populations. The study covers the 10 million people aged 25-64 years at the t …
  • Cancer Risk Among Female Nurses: A Literature Review
    JA Lie et al. Eur J Cancer Prev 12 (6), 517-26. PMID 14639130. - Review
    Some studies have demonstrated increased risk of different cancers among female nurses. A review of relevant papers was made to assess whether the increase is caused by o …
See all similar articles

Cited by 5 PubMed Central articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback