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Possible pro-carcinogenic association of endotoxin on lung cancer among Shanghai women textile workers.

  • Author(s): Checkoway, H
  • Lundin, J
  • Costello, S
  • Ray, R
  • Li, W
  • Eisen, Ellen
  • Astrakianakis, G
  • Seixas, N
  • Applebaum, K
  • Gao, D
  • Thomas, D
  • et al.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) is a widespread contaminant in many environmental settings. Since the 1970s, there has been generally consistent evidence indicating reduced risks for lung cancer associated with occupational endotoxin exposure. METHODS: We updated a case-cohort study nested within a cohort of 267,400 female textile workers in Shanghai, China. We compared exposure histories of 1456 incident lung cancers cases diagnosed during 1989-2006 with those of a reference subcohort of 3022 workers who were free of lung cancer at the end of follow-up. We applied Cox proportional hazards modelling to estimate exposure-response trends, adjusted for age and smoking, for cumulative exposures lagged by 0, 10, and 20 years, and separately for time windows of ⩽15 and >15 years since first exposure. RESULTS: We observed no associations between cumulative exposure and lung cancer, irrespective of lag interval. In contrast, analyses by exposure time windows revealed modestly elevated, but not statistically significant relative risks (∼1.27) at the highest three exposure quintiles for exposures that occurred >15 years since first exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The findings do not support a protective effect of endotoxin, but are suggestive of possible lung cancer promotion with increasing time since first exposure.

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