Evaluation of risks for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma by occupation and industry exposures from a case-control study

Am J Ind Med. 1993 Feb;23(2):301-12. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700230207.


The etiology of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is not well understood. To develop hypotheses on causes of this tumor, data from a population-based case-control interview study of 1,867 white men (622 cases and 1,245 controls) in Iowa and Minnesota conducted during 1980-1983 were examined. Subjects, or their next of kin, were interviewed to obtain information on agricultural exposures, work history, medical conditions, and family history. This analysis focuses on risks of NHL by occupation, by industry, and by selected exposures. Although many comparisons were made, few significant associations were observed. Small numbers and limitations in exposure assessment, however, would tend to reduce opportunities to detect associations. The strongest finding was with various occupations that work in metals and metal products. The analysis by exposure estimates also uncovered a significant association with metals, but risks did not increase with estimated intensity of exposure. Slightly elevated risks were also noted among persons employed as painters and construction workers, agricultural and forestry workers, printers and typesetters, funeral directors and embalmers, and dry cleaners. Although the overall risks for benzene and other solvents were small, they increased slightly with level of assigned exposure. Although some associations may be due to chance, several of these occupations and industries have been linked to lymphoma in other investigations and deserve further attention.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors