A case‐control study of multiple myeloma and occupation

Paul A. Demers, Thomas L. Vaughan, Thomas D. Koepsell, Joseph L. Lyon, G. Marie Swanson, Raymond S. Greenberg, Noel S. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Lifetime job histories from a population‐based, case‐control study were analyzed to investigate the relationship between multiple myeloma and employment in various occupations and industries. Interviews were obtained from 89% (692) of eligible incident cases and 83% (1683) of eligible controls. An elevated risk was observed among persons ever employed as painters [odds ratio (OR) + 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) + 1.2–3.6], particularly for those employed for 10 or more years (OR + 4.1, 95% CI + 1.8–10.4). A small excess risk was observed among agricultural workers employed for 10 or more years (OR + 1.3, 95% CI + 1.0–2.2), with a higher relative risk observed among farm laborers (OR + 1.8, 95% CI + 1.0–4.0). Among agricultural workers who reported having been highly exposed to pesticides, the OR was 5.2 (95% CI + 1.6–21.1). Some evidence, based on smaller numbers, was also found to support an association with firefighting and employment in the petroleum‐ and coal‐products manufacturing industries. Little evidence was found to support the previously noted association with wood exposure, and no evidence for an association with employment in the rubber or petroleum refining industries was found. This study lends further support to previously reported associations between multiple myeloma and employment among painters and agricultural workers. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • agricultural workers
  • multiple myeloma
  • occupational diseases
  • painters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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