Objectives: There is a paucity of information on environmental risk factors for prostate cancer. We conducted a case-control study in Montreal to estimate associations with exposure to ground-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a marker for traffic-related air pollution.
Methods: Cases were 803 men with incident prostate cancer, ≤75 years of age, and diagnosed across all French hospitals in Montreal. Concurrently, 969 controls were drawn from electoral lists of French-speaking individuals residing in the same electoral districts as the cases and frequency-matched by age. Concentrations of NO2 were measured across Montreal in 2005-2006. We developed a land use regression model to predict concentrations of NO2 across Montreal for 2006. These estimates were back-extrapolated to 1996. Estimates were linked to residential addresses at the time of diagnosis or interview. Unconditional logistic regression was used, adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Results: For each increase of 5 parts per billion of NO2, as estimated from the original land use regression model in 2006, the OR5ppb adjusted for personal factors was 1.44 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.73). Adding in contextual factors attenuated the OR5ppb to 1.27 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.58). One method for back-extrapolating concentrations of NO2 to 1996 (about 10 years before the index date) gave the following OR5ppb: 1.41 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.62) when personal factors were included, and 1.30 (95% CI 1.11 to 1.52) when contextual factors were added.
Conclusions: Exposure to ambient concentrations of NO2 at the current address was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. This novel finding requires replication.