Occupational Exposures and Odds of Gastric Cancer: A StoP Project Consortium Pooled Analysis

Int J Epidemiol. 2020 Apr 1;49(2):422-434. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyz263.


Background: Gastric cancer pathogenesis represents a complex interaction of host genetic determinants, microbial virulence factors and environmental exposures. Our primary aim was to determine the association between occupations/occupational exposures and odds of gastric cancer.

Methods: We conducted a pooled-analysis of individual-level data harmonized from 11 studies in the Stomach cancer Pooling Project. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of gastric cancer adjusted for relevant confounders.

Results: A total of 5279 gastric cancer cases and 12 297 controls were analysed. There were higher odds of gastric cancer among labour-related occupations, including: agricultural and animal husbandry workers [odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-1.68]; miners, quarrymen, well-drillers and related workers (OR 1.70, 95% CI: 1.01-2.88); blacksmiths, toolmakers and machine-tool operators (OR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.05-1.89); bricklayers, carpenters and construction workers (OR 1.30, 95% CI: 1.06-1.60); and stationary engine and related equipment operators (OR 6.53, 95% CI: 1.41-30.19). The ORs for wood-dust exposure were 1.51 (95% CI: 1.01-2.26) for intestinal-type and 2.52 (95% CI: 1.46-4.33) for diffuse-type gastric cancer. Corresponding values for aromatic amine exposure were 1.83 (95% CI: 1.09-3.06) and 2.92 (95% CI: 1.36-6.26). Exposure to coal derivatives, pesticides/herbicides, chromium, radiation and magnetic fields were associated with higher odds of diffuse-type, but not intestinal-type gastric cancer.

Conclusions: Based on a large pooled analysis, we identified several occupations and related exposures that are associated with elevated odds of gastric cancer. These findings have potential implications for risk attenuation and could be used to direct investigations evaluating the impact of targeted gastric cancer prevention/early detection programmes based on occupation.

Keywords: Gastric neoplasm; digestive system neoplasm; environment and public health; epidemiology.