European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 721–730 | Cite as

Occupational exposures and risk of pancreatic cancer

  • Miguel Santibañez
  • Jesús Vioque
  • Juan Alguacil
  • Manuela García de la Hera
  • Eduardo Moreno-Osset
  • Alfredo Carrato
  • Miquel Porta
  • Timo Kauppinen


The objective was to analyze the relationship between occupation (and specific occupational exposures) and risk of exocrine pancreatic cancer (EPC). We conducted a multicenter hospital-based case–control study in Eastern Spain. We included 161 incident cases of EPC (59.6% men, 94 with histological confirmation, of whom 80% had ductal adenocarcinoma). Cases were frequency-matched with 455 controls by sex, age and province of residence. Information was elicited using structured questionnaires. Occupations were coded according to the Spanish version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations 1988. Occupational exposure to a selection of carcinogenic substances was assessed with the Finnish Job-Exposure Matrix (FINJEM). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by multiple logistic regression, adjusting for sex, age, province, education, alcohol and smoking. A higher risk of EPC was associated with having worked as ‘Miners, shotfirers, stone cutters and carvers’, ‘Machinery mechanics and fitters’, ‘Building trades workers’ and ‘Motor vehicle drivers’ in men, ‘Office Clerks’ in women, and ‘Waiters’ in both sexes. Cases with ductal adenocarcinomas were more likely to have been exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents (OR = 4.1, 95% CI: 1.1–15.2, p-trend = 0.04). We also observed significant associations with exposure to ‘synthetic polymer dust exposure’ and ‘ionizing radiation’. Suggestive increases in risk were observed for ‘pesticides’, ‘diesel and gasoline engine exhaust’, and ‘hydrocarbon solvents’. Results support the hypothesis that occupational exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents is associated with exocrine pancreatic cancer.


Chlorinated hydrocarbons Occupation Occupational exposures Pancreatic neoplasms 



Chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents


Confidence intervals


Exocrine pancreatic cancer


Finnish job-exposure matrix


Odds ratio


Odds ratio for the highest level of exposure

OR men

Odds ratio restricted to men

OR women

Odds ratio restricted to women


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons


Spanish national classification of occupations, 1994


Standard deviation



This work was partly supported by Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (FIS 91/0435), Fundación Bienvenida Navarro Luciano-Trípodi, and Fundación Hospital Universitario de Elche (cod 01/07) Generalitat Valenciana (EVES 030/2005; CTGCA/2002/06; G03/136). We would also like to acknowledge editorial assistance provided by Jonathan Whitehead.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Santibañez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jesús Vioque
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juan Alguacil
    • 3
    • 4
  • Manuela García de la Hera
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eduardo Moreno-Osset
    • 5
  • Alfredo Carrato
    • 6
  • Miquel Porta
    • 3
    • 7
    • 8
  • Timo Kauppinen
    • 9
  1. 1.Research Support UnitIFIMAV-Marques de Valdecilla FoundationSantanderSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Salud PúblicaUniversidad Miguel HernándezElche-AlicanteSpain
  3. 3.CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Ambiental y Salud PúblicaUniversidad de HuelvaHuelvaSpain
  5. 5.Servicio de Medicina Digestiva, Hospital Universitario Dr. PesetUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  6. 6.Servicio de Oncología MédicaHospital General de ElcheElcheSpain
  7. 7.Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica (IMIM-Hospital del Mar)BarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCataloniaSpain
  9. 9.Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)HelsinkiFinland

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