Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and farming: an expanded case-control study

Int J Cancer. 1987 Feb 15;39(2):155-61. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910390206.


A previously published case-control study of agricultural risk factors involved male cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma registered under code 202 of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This study has been expanded with the inclusion of cases registered under ICD code 200, and additional controls. The expanded study comprises 100 ICD 200 cases and 83 ICD 202 cases registered during the period 1977-81, together with 338 controls selected from other cancer registrations during the same period. The largest relative risk for specific farming types was for orchard workers (odds ratio = 3.7, 90% confidence limits 1.1-12.1). No elevated risks were observed for exposure to farm animals, nor for potential exposure to phenoxy herbicides (odds ratio = 1.0, 90% confidence limits 0.7-1.5), or chlorophenols (odds ratio = 1.4, 90% confidence limits 0.8-2.3). The previous finding of an excess risk associated with fencing work was weakly supported by the expanded study (odds ratio = 1.4, 90% confidence limits 1.0-2.0). However, the previous finding of an excess risk associated with meat works employment was more strongly supported (odds ratio = 1.8, 90% confidence limits 1.2-2.6). One relevant risk factor is 2,4,6-TCP which is used in the treatment of pelts, but the excess risks do not appear to be confined to pelt department workers. An alternative hypothesis is that meat workers may be exposed to oncogenic viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology*
  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Herbicides / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Male
  • Oncogenic Viruses / pathogenicity
  • Risk


  • Herbicides