Cancer risks among New Zealand meat workers

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1989 Feb;15(1):24-9. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1886.


The study reports a series of case-referent studies based on the New Zealand Cancer Register and involving 19,904 male cancer patients aged 20 years or more at the time of registration during the period 1980-1984. For each cancer site, the registrations for the remaining sites formed the reference group. An increased risk for lung (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.06-1.58) and laryngeal (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.19-3.39) cancer was found among meatworkers. It was confined to men aged less than 65 years at registration. The risk for soft-tissue sarcoma was elevated (OR 1.90, 95% CI 0.90-4.02). The risk estimate for all types of leukemia was elevated moderately (OR 1.45, 95% CI 0.90-2.31), but cell type-specific analyses revealed a greater effect for acute myeloid leukemia (OR 2.12, 95% CI 1.09-4.12). This study adds to the evidence that employment as a meatworker is associated with increased risk for several forms of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meat Products*
  • Meat*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • New Zealand
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Risk Factors