Predictors of lung cancer among former asbestos-exposed workers.

Research paper by Beata B Świątkowska, Zuzanna Z Szubert, Wojciech W Sobala, Neonila N Szeszenia-Dąbrowska

Indexed on: 02 Jul '15Published on: 02 Jul '15Published in: Lung Cancer


Despite extensive literature concerning the risk of lung cancer incidence among asbestos workers there is still lack of data specifying the association between the level of exposure and the frequency of cancer occurrence. The aim of the analysis was to assess the influence of smoking and selected factors related to occupational exposure on the risk of the incidence of lung cancer among the workers who were exposed to asbestos dust in the past.The assessment was performed based on the case-control studies carried out within a cohort including 7,374 former workers of asbestos processing plants, examined over the years 2000-2013. Analysis of the material was based on the calculation of the odds ratio (OR) using conditional logistic regression modeling, adjusted for cigarette smoking, cumulative exposure, branch and time since last exposure.During the survey period there were 165 cases of lung cancer. Among the individuals who smoked, the relative risk of lung cancer incidence was twice as high in the persons smoking more than 20 pack-years (OR=2.23; 95% CI: 1.45-3.46) than it was in the case of the non-smokers. Analysis revealed that the risk of lung cancer in the group with the highest exposure was two times higher in comparison with the low cumulative asbestos exposure (OR=1.99; 95% CI: 1.22-3.25). The risk continued to increase until 30 years after cessation of asbestos exposure and started to decline many years after the last exposure. Influence of the mentioned above characteristics is particularly visible for tumors located in the lower parts of the lungs.Our findings confirm the strong evidence that the lung cancer risk is associated with asbestos exposure and it increases along with the increasing exposure. A strategy of smoking cessation among the individuals exposed to asbestos dust would potentially have health promoting effects.