Objectives/hypothesis: Occupational exposure to asbestos occurs in many workplaces and is well known to cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. However, the link between asbestos exposure and other malignancies was not confirmed. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to provide a summary measure of risk for laryngeal cancer associated with occupational asbestos exposure.
Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methods: Electronic databases were searched for studies characterizing the association between asbestos and laryngeal cancer. Standardized mortality rate (SMR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) of each study was combined using a fixed or random effect model.
Results: Significantly increased SMR for laryngeal cancer was observed when subjects were exposed to asbestos (SMR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.45-1.97, P < .001), with little evidence of heterogeneity among studies (Q = 15.39, P = .803, I(2) = 0.0%). Effect estimates were larger for cohorts controlling for male subjects, Europe and Oceania, mining and textile industries, exposure to crocidolite, long study follow-up (>25 years), and SMR for lung cancer > 2.0. Publication bias was not detect by Begg test (P = .910) and Egger test (P = .340).
Conclusions: Our study supports the association of exposure to asbestos with an increased risk of laryngeal cancer mortality among male workers.
Level of evidence: NA Laryngoscope, 126:1169-1174, 2016.
Keywords: Asbestos; cancer; larynx; mortality.
© 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.