Risk of gastric cancer in the environs of industrial facilities in the MCC-Spain study

Environ Pollut. 2021 Jun 1:278:116854. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116854. Epub 2021 Mar 3.


Background: Gastric cancer is the fifth most frequent tumor worldwide. In Spain, it presents a large geographic variability in incidence, suggesting a possible role of environmental factors in its etiology. Therefore, epidemiologic research focused on environmental exposures is necessary.

Objectives: To assess the association between risk of gastric cancer (by histological type and tumor site) and residential proximity to industrial installations, according to categories of industrial groups and specific pollutants released, in the context of a population-based multicase-control study of incident cancer conducted in Spain (MCC-Spain).

Methods: In this study, 2664 controls and 137 gastric cancer cases from 9 provinces, frequency matched by province of residence, age, and sex were included. Distances from the individuals' residences to the 106 industries located in the study areas were computed. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) for categories of distance (from 1 km to 3 km) to industries, adjusting for matching variables and potential confounders.

Results: Overall, no excess risk of gastric cancer was observed in people living close to the industrial installations, with ORs ranging from 0.73 (at ≤2.5 km) to 0.93 (at ≤1.5 km). However, by industrial sector, excess risks (OR; 95%CI) were found near organic chemical industry (3.51; 1.42-8.69 at ≤2 km), inorganic chemical industry (3.33; 1.12-9.85 at ≤2 km), food/beverage sector (2.48; 1.12-5.50 at ≤2 km), and surface treatment using organic solvents (3.59; 1.40-9.22 at ≤3 km). By specific pollutant, a statistically significant excess risk (OR; 95%CI) was found near (≤3 km) industries releasing nonylphenol (6.43; 2.30-17.97) and antimony (4.82; 1.94-12.01).

Conclusions: The results suggest no association between risk of gastric cancer and living in the proximity to the industrial facilities as a whole. However, a few associations were detected near some industrial sectors and installations releasing specific pollutants.

Keywords: Case-control study; Gastric cancer; Industrial pollution; MCC-Spain; Residential proximity; Risk factor.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology