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Elisabete Weiderpass 1 Article
Occupation and mesothelioma in Sweden: updated incidence in men and women in the 27 years after the asbestos ban
Nils Plato, Jan Ivar Martinsen, Pär Sparén, Gunnar Hillerdal, Elisabete Weiderpass
Epidemiol Health. 2016;38:e2016039.   Published online September 20, 2016
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AbstractAbstract PDF
We updated the Swedish component of the Nordic Occupational Cancer (NOCCA) Study through 2009 in order to investigate the incidence of mesothelioma of the peritoneum and pleura in both genders, and explored occupational exposures that may be associated with mesothelioma.
The Swedish component of the NOCCA Study includes 6.78 million individuals. Data from this cohort were linked to the population-based Swedish Cancer Registry and Swedish Total Population Registry for three periods between 1961 and 2009, and then further linked to the Swedish NOCCA job-exposure matrix, which includes 25 carcinogenic substances and the corresponding exposure levels for 280 occupations. Multivariate analysis was used to calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for mesothelioma of the peritoneum and pleura by gender, occupational category, carcinogenic substance, and for multiple occupational exposures simultaneously.
A total of 3,716 incident mesotheliomas were recorded (21.1% in women). We found a significantly increased risk of mesothelioma in 24 occupations, as well as clear differences between the genders. Among men, increased risks of mesothelioma of the pleura were observed in male-dominated occupations, with the greatest elevation of risk among plumbers (SIR, 4.99; 95% confidence interval, 4.20 to 5.90). Among women, increased risks were observed in sewing workers, canning workers, packers, cleaners, and postal workers. In multivariate analysis controlling for multiple occupational exposures, significant associations were only observed between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure was associated with mesothelioma incidence in our study. The asbestos ban of 1982 has yet to show any clear effect on the occurrence of mesothelioma in this cohort. Among women, the occupations of canning workers and cleaners showed increased risks of mesothelioma of the pleura without evidence of asbestos exposure.


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