Lung cancer risk among hairdressers: A pooled analysis of case-control studies conducted between 1985 and 2010

Ann C. Olsson, Yiwen Xu, Joachim Schüz, Jelle Vlaanderen, Hans Kromhout, Roel Vermeulen, Susan Peters, Isabelle Stücker, Florence Guida, Irene Brüske, Heinz Erich Wichmann, Dario Consonni, Maria Teresa Landi, Neil Caporaso, Lap Ah Tse, Ignatius Tak Sun Yu, Jack Siemiatycki, Lesley Richardson, Dario Mirabelli, Lorenzo RichiardiLorenzo Simonato, Per Gustavsson, Nils Plato, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Wolfgang Ahrens, Hermann Pohlabeln, Adonina Tardón, David Zaridze, Michael W. Marcus, Andrea't Mannetje, Neil Pearce, John McLaughlin, Paul Demers, Neonila Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Jolanta Lissowska, Peter Rudnai, Eleonora Fabianova, Rodica Stanescu Dumitru, Vladimir Bencko, Lenka Foretova, Vladimir Janout, Paolo Boffetta, Cristina Fortes, Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Benjamin Kendzia, Thomas Behrens, Beate Pesch, Thomas Brüning, Kurt Straif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers were observed in large registry-based cohort studies from Scandinavia, but these studies could not adjust for smoking. Our objective was to evaluate the lung cancer risk among hairdressers while adjusting for smoking and other confounders in a pooled database of 16 case-control studies conducted in Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand between 1985 and 2010 (the Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies on the Joint Effects of Occupational Carcinogens in the Development of Lung Cancer). Lifetime occupational and smoking information was collected through interviews with 19,369 cases of lung cancer and 23,674 matched population or hospital controls. Overall, 170 cases and 167 controls had ever worked as hairdresser or barber. The odds ratios for lung cancer in women were 1.65 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 2.35) without adjustment for smoking and 1.12 (95% CI: 0.75, 1.68) with adjustment for smoking; however, women employed before 1954 also experienced an increased lung cancer risk after adjustment for smoking (odds ratio = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.09, 6.47). The odds ratios in male hairdressers/barbers were generally not elevated, except for an increased odds ratio for adenocarcinoma in long-term barbers (odds ratio = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.02, 4.77). Our results suggest that the increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers are due to their smoking behavior; single elevated risk estimates should be interpreted with caution and need replication in other studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1365
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Case-control studies
  • Hair bleaching agents
  • Hair color
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Occupational exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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