Background: There is conflicting evidence regarding the associations between cigarette smoking and glioma or meningioma. Our purpose is to provide further evidence on these possible associations.
Methods: We conducted a set of case-control studies in three Canadian cities, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. The study included 166 subjects with glioma, 93 subjects with meningioma, and 648 population-based controls. A lifetime history of cigarette smoking was collected and various smoking indices were computed. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) between smoking and each of the two types of brain tumours.
Results: Adjusted ORs between smoking and each type of brain tumour were not significantly elevated for all smokers combined or for smokers with over 15 pack-years ((packs / day) x years) accumulated. We tested for interactions between smoking and several sociodemographic variables; the interaction between smoking and education on glioma risk was significant, with smoking showing an elevated OR among subjects with lower education and an OR below unity among subjects with higher education.
Conclusion: Except for an unexplained and possibly artefactual excess risk in one population subgroup, we found little or no evidence of an association between smoking and either glioma or meningioma.