Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(3):211-221    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4082 | Published online: 19 Feb 2023, Issue date: 01 Apr 2023

Association of occupational heat exposure and colorectal cancer in the MCC-Spain study

by Hinchliffe A, Kogevinas M, Molina AJ, Moreno V, Aragonés N, Castaño-Vinyals G, Jiménez Moleón JJ, Gómez Acebo I, Ederra M, Amiano P, Molina-Barceló A, Fernandez-Tardon G, Alguacil J, Chirlaque M-D, Hernández-Segura N, Pérez-Gómez B, Pollan M, Turner MC

Objective Heat exposure and heat stress/strain is a concern for many workers. There is increasing interest in potential chronic health effects of occupational heat exposure, including cancer risk. We examined potential associations of occupational heat exposure and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in a large Spanish multi-case–­control study.

Methods We analyzed data on 1198 histologically confirmed CRC cases and 2690 frequency-matched controls. The Spanish job-exposure matrix, MatEmEsp, was used to assign heat exposure estimates to the lifetime occupations of participants. Three exposure indices were assessed: ever versus never exposed, cumulative exposure and duration (years). We estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using unconditional logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.

Results Overall, there was no association of ever, compared with never, occupational heat exposure and CRC (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.92–1.29). There were also no associations observed according to categories of cumulative exposure or duration, and there was no evidence for a trend. There was no clear association of ever occupational heat exposure and CRC in analysis conducted among either men or women when analyzed separately. Positive associations were observed among women in the highest categories of cumulative exposure (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.09–3.03) and duration (OR 2.89, 95% CI 1.50–5.59) as well as some evidence for a trend (P<0.05).

Conclusion Overall, this study provides no clear evidence for an association between occupational heat exposure and CRC.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2021;47(5):377-386  1999;25(3):207-214  2017;43(3):250-259
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