Cancer of the esophagus and asbestos exposure

Am J Ind Med. 2017 Nov;60(11):968-975. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22769. Epub 2017 Sep 7.


Background: Our study aimed at analyzing incidence and mortality from esophageal cancer within a cohort of workers with previous occupational asbestos exposure (ARDCo Program).

Methods: A 10-year follow-up study was conducted in the 14 515 male subjects included in this program between October 2003 and December 2005. Follow-up began when exposure stopped. Asbestos exposure was analyzed by industrial hygienists using data from a standardized questionnaire. The Cox model was used, with age as the time axis variable adjusted for smoking, time since first exposure (TSFE) and cumulative exposure index (CEI) of exposure to asbestos.

Results: We reported a significant dose-response relationship between CEI of exposure to asbestos and esophageal cancer, in both incidence (hazard ratio [HR] 1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00-1.58), and mortality (HR 1.40, [95%CI 1.12-1.75]).

Conclusions: This large-scale study suggests the existence of a relationship between asbestos exposure and cancer of the esophagus.

Keywords: asbestos; cancer; esophagus; incidence; mortality; occupational exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asbestos / toxicity*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data


  • Carcinogens
  • Asbestos