Cancer and aplastic anemia in British Columbia farmers

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984 Jun;72(6):1311-5.

Abstract

For evaluation of occupational mortality in agriculture, age-standardized proportional mortality ratios (PMR) were calculated for 28,032 male farmers with the use of British Columbia (B.C.) death registrations collected from 1950 to 1978. Farmers had significantly elevated risks of death from cancer of the lip (PMR = 191, P = .05), stomach (PMR = 119, P less than .0001), and prostate gland (PMR = 113, P less than .001). In addition, leukemia was higher than expected (PMR = 122, P less than .01), as was aplastic anemia (PMR = 174, P less than .01). The elevated risks were fairly consistent over the 29-year period for stomach, prostate gland, and lip cancer, as well as for leukemia. The PMR for aplastic anemia was highest for the years 1950-59 and declined over the next 19 years. Farmers also showed significant mortality deficits for several important cancer sites, including esophagus (PMR = 59, P less than .0001), colon (PMR = 84, P less than .001), larynx (PMR = 62, P less than .01), and lung (PMR = 66, P less than .0001) for the period 1950-78. More detailed studies in B.C. will be necessary to confirm and extend these cancer-agriculture associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / mortality*
  • Anemia, Aplastic / mortality*
  • British Columbia
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / mortality
  • Lip Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Probability
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality