Occupational exposure to pesticides and pancreatic cancer

Bu Tian Ji, Debra T. Silverman, Patricia A. Stewart, Aaron Blair, G. Marie Swanson, Dalsu Baris, Raymond S. Greenberg, Richard B. Hayes, Linda M. Brown, Keith D. Lillemoe, Janet B. Schoenberg, Linda M. Pottern, Ann G. Schwartz, Robert N. Hoover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Background: An increased risk of exposure to pesticides for pancreatic cancer has been suggested in a number of epidemiologic studies. Methods: Cases (N=484), aged 30-79 years, were diagnosed in 1986-1989. Controls (N=2,095) were a random sample of the general population. Information on usual occupation and potential confounding factors was obtained. A job-exposure matrix (JEM) approach was used to estimate the level of occupational exposure to pesticides. Results: A significant trend in risk with increasing exposure level of pesticides was observed, with ORs of 1.3 and 1.4 for low and moderate/high exposure levels, respectively. Excess risks were found for occupational exposure to fungicides (OR=1.5) and herbicides (OR=1.6) in the moderate/high level after adjustment for potential confounding factors. An increased risk for insecticide exposure was disappeared after adjustment for fungicide and herbicide exposures. Results of our occupation-based analysis were consistent with those from the JEM-based analysis. Conclusions: Our results suggest that pesticides may increase risk of pancreatic cancer, and indicate the need for investigations that can evaluate risk by specific chemical exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-99
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Case-control study
  • Job-exposure matrix
  • Occupation
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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