Risk for prostate cancer by occupation and industry: a 24-state death certificate study

Am J Ind Med. 1998 Nov;34(5):413-20. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199811)34:5<413::aid-ajim1>3.0.co;2-r.


Current knowledge of the etiology of prostate cancer is limited. Numerous studies have suggested that certain occupations and industries may be associated with the occurrence of prostate cancer. Information on occupation and industry on death certificates from 24 states gathered from 1984 to 1993 was used in case control study on prostate cancer. A total of 60,878 men with prostate cancer as underlying cause of death was selected and matched with controls who died of all other causes except cancer. Similar to the findings of our parallel large case control study of prostate cancer, we observed excess risks in some white-collar occupations, such as administrators, managers, teachers, engineers, and sales occupations. However, some blue-collar occupations, such as power plant operators and stationary engineers, brickmasons, machinery maintenance workers, airplane pilots, longshoreman, railroad industry workers, and other occupations with potential exposure to PAH also showed risk of excess prostate cancer. Risk was significantly decreased for blue-collar occupations, including farm workers, commercial fishermen, mechanics and repairers, structural metal workers, mining, printing, winding, dry cleaning, textile machine operators, cooks, bakers, and bartenders. Although we observed excess risks of prostate cancer among some low socioeconomic status (SES) occupations, the overall results suggest that the effects of higher SES cannot be ruled out in associations between occupational factors and the risk of prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Death Certificates*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology