Occupational exposure to metals and risk of meningioma: a multinational case-control study

Siegal Sadetzki, Angela Chetrit, Michelle C Turner, Martie van Tongeren, Geza Benke, Jordi Figuerola, Sarah Fleming, Martine Hours, Laurel Kincl, Daniel Krewski, Dave McLean, Marie-Elise Parent, Lesley Richardson, Brigitte Schlehofer, Klaus Schlaefer, Maria Blettner, Joachim Schüz, Jack Siemiatycki, Elisabeth Cardis

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The aim of the study was to examine associations between occupational exposure to metals and meningioma risk in the international INTEROCC study. INTEROCC is a seven-country population-based case-control study including 1906 adult meningioma cases and 5565 population controls. Incident cases were recruited between 2000 and 2004. A detailed occupational history was completed and job titles were coded into standard international occupational classifications. Estimates of mean workday exposure to individual metals and to welding fumes were assigned based on a job-exposure-matrix. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression. Although more controls than cases were ever exposed to metals (14 vs. 11 %, respectively), cases had higher median cumulative exposure levels. The ORs for ever vs. never exposure to any metal and to individual metals were mostly greater than 1.0, with the strongest association for exposure to iron (OR 1.26, 95 % CI 1.0-1.58). In women, an increased OR of 1.70 (95 % CI 1.0-2.89) was seen for ever vs never exposure to iron (OR in men 1.19, 95 % CI 0.91-1.54), with positive trends in relation with both cumulative and duration of exposure. These results remained after consideration of other occupational metal or chemical co-exposures. In conclusion, an apparent positive association between occupational exposure to iron and meningioma risk was observed, particularly among women. Considering the fact that meningioma is a hormone dependent tumor, the hypothesis that an interaction between iron and estrogen metabolism may be a potential mechanism for a carcinogenic effect of iron should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-515
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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