Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Asthmatics Exposed to Pesticides

Epidemiology

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among asthmatics exposed to pesticides

Won Jin Lee 1 *, Kenneth P. Cantor 1, Jay A. Berzofsky 2, Shelia H. Zahm 1, Aaron Blair 1

1Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, USA 2Molecular Immunogenetics and Vaccine Research Section, Metabolism Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

email: Won Jin Lee (Leewj@mail.nih.gov)

*Correspondence to Won Jin Lee, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 6120 Executive Blvd., EPS 8111, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

Fax: +301-402-1819

Abstract

We conducted a pooled analysis of population-based case-control studies in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska to investigate whether asthma modifies risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) associated with pesticide exposures.

Cases (n = 872) diagnosed with NHL from 1980 to 1986 and frequency-matched controls (n = 2,381) randomly selected from the same geographic areas as the cases were included.

Information on use of pesticides and history of asthma was based on interviews. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate ORs, adjusted for age, state and vital status. Of all subjects, 177 (45 cases, 132 controls) reported having been told by their doctor that they had asthma.

Subjects with an asthma history had a nonsignificantly lower risk of NHL than nonasthmatics (OR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4), and there was no main effect of pesticide exposure (OR = 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.2).

However, asthmatics tended to have larger ORs associated with exposure to pesticides than nonasthmatics. The OR among asthmatics was 1.8 (95% CI 1.1-3.2) for ever-use of crop insecticides, 2.7 (95% CI 1.0-7.2) for chlordane, 2.4 (95% CI 1.0-5.7) for lindane and 3.7 (95% CI 1.3-10.9) for fonofos. Among nonasthmatics, ORs were 1.1 (0.9-1.3), 1.5 (1.1-2.2), 1.3 (0.97-1.8) and 1.6 (1.0-2.4), respectively.

Although there is limited power for assessing interaction, our results suggest that the risk of NHL among asthmatics with pesticide exposure may be higher than among nonasthmatics with pesticide exposure.

International Journal of Cancer Volume 111, Issue 2 , Pages 298 - 302

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