Background: Individual epidemiological studies generally lack the power to examine the association between silica exposure or silicosis and laryngeal cancer. We summarized pertinent evidence from published literature by using meta-analysis.
Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify cohort and case-control studies, and the method of meta-analysis was used to combine standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) or standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) from cohort studies and odds ratios (ORs) from case-control studies.
Results: A significantly increased risk of laryngeal cancer (pooled OR = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.17-1.67) among workers exposed to silica dust was observed by combining six case-control studies with adjustment for smoking and alcohol consumption. A similarly increased but statistically non-significant risk estimate was observed from cohort studies, with a pooled SMR of 1.38 (95% CI: 0.79-1.96) for silicosis cases; and a pooled SMR of 1.13 (95% CI: 0.82-1.45) and a pooled SIR of 1.50 (95% CI: 0.59-2.42) for workers with silica dust exposure.
Conclusion: This systematic review demonstrated a weak association between silica or silicosis and laryngeal cancer. Owing to the inherent limitations of the original studies, interpretation of the results of this meta-analysis should be cautious.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.