Primary Sjögren's syndrome and occupational risk factors: A case-control study

J Autoimmun. 2015 Jun;60:80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2015.04.004. Epub 2015 May 8.


Objectives: A case-control study was carried out to investigate the relation between primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and occupational exposure.

Methods: One hundred seventy five cases of pSS followed up into the internal medicine departments of three French university hospitals from 2010 to 2013 were included. For each case, two age and gender matched controls were selected during the same period in the same departments. Occupational exposure was assessed retrospectively by industrial hygienists and occupational practitioners. Exposure to occupational factors such as organic solvents or silica was investigated using semiquantitative estimates of exposure. An exposure score was calculated for each subject based on probability, intensity, daily frequency, and duration of exposure for each period of employment. The final cumulative exposure score was obtained, taking into account all periods of employment.

Results: Significant associations with pSS were observed for dichloromethane (OR 9.28, 95%CI 2.60-33.03), perchlorethylene (OR 2.64, 95%CI 1.20-5.77) chlorinated solvents (OR 2.95, 95%CI 1.77-4.93), benzene (OR 3.30, 95%CI 1.07-10.26), toluene (OR 4.18 95%CI 1.41-12.43), white spirit (OR 3.60, 95%CI 1.39-9.33), aromatic solvents (OR 3.03, 95%CI 1.41-6.50) and any types of solvents (OR 2.76, 95%CI 1.70-4.47). Risk of pSS was significantly associated with a high cumulative exposure score of occupational exposure to toluene (OR 4.69, 95%CI 1.42-15.45), white spirit (OR 3.30, 95%CI 1.07-10.26), aromatic solvents (OR 2.50, 95%CI 1.06-5.91) and any types of solvents (OR 2.25, 95%CI 1.20-4.22).

Conclusion: This work suggests the influence of occupational risk factors in the occurrence of pSS.

Keywords: Occupational risk factors; Organic solvent; Primary Sjögren syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Methylene Chloride / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicon Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Solvents / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tetrachloroethylene / adverse effects
  • Toluene / adverse effects


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Solvents
  • Toluene
  • Methylene Chloride
  • ligroin
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Tetrachloroethylene