Occupation, cadmium exposure, and prostate cancer

Epidemiology. 1990 Mar;1(2):107-15. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199003000-00005.


A population-based case-control study was used to investigate associations between prostate cancer and cadmium exposure, longest industry held, and longest occupation held. The study included 358 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer and 679 control men identified from the Utah population. Occupational exposures to cadmium were ascertained from self-reported data, through several a priori suspect industries and occupations, through an occupation-exposure linkage system, and through dietary food frequency questionnaires. Overall, cadmium exposure appeared to result in a small increased relative risk for prostate cancer, most apparent for aggressive tumors (OR = 1.7, CI = 1.0-3.1 for any occupational exposure, high dietary intake, or smoking cigarettes). Cases were more likely to have worked in the following industries: mining, paper and wood, medicine and science, and entertainment and recreation. Among men younger than 67, cases were also more likely to have worked in the food and tobacco industries (OR = 3.6, CI = 1.0-12.8). Cases were less likely to have worked in industries involved with glass, clay and stone, or rubber, plastics, and synthetics. Men employed as janitors and in other building service occupations showed increased relative risk for aggressive tumors (OR = 7.0, CI = 2.5-19.6). Agricultural occupations did not appear to be related to prostate cancer, although an increased relative risk for aggressive tumors was detected among younger men (OR = 2.6, CI = 0.6-12.1).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cadmium / administration & dosage
  • Cadmium / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diet
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Utah / epidemiology


  • Cadmium