Lung cancer risk in painters: Results from the SYNERGY pooled case-control study consortium

Neela Guha, Liacine Bouaoun, Hans Kromhout, Roel Vermeulen, Thomas Brüning, Thomas Behrens, Susan Peters, Véronique Luzon, Jack Siemiatycki, Mengting Xu, Benjamin Kendzia, Pascal Guenel, Danièle Luce, Stefan Karrasch, Heinz Erich Wichmann, Dario Consonni, Maria Teresa Landi, Neil E. Caporaso, Per Gustavsson, Nils PlatoFranco Merletti, Dario Mirabelli, Lorenzo Richiardi, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Wolfgang Ahrens, Hermann Pohlabeln, Lap Ah Tse, Ignatius Tak Sun Yu, Adonina Tardón, Paolo Boffetta, David Zaridze, Andrea T'Mannetje, Neil Pearce, Michael P.A. Davies, Jolanta Lissowska, Beata Aswitkowska, John McLaughlin, Paul A. Demers, Vladimir Bencko, Lenka Foretova, Vladimir Janout, Tamás Pándics, Eleonora Fabianova, Dana Mates, Francesco Forastiere, Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Joachim Schüz, Kurt Straif, Ann Olsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives We evaluated the risk of lung cancer associated with ever working as a painter, duration of employment and type of painter by histological subtype as well as joint effects with smoking, within the SYNERGY project. Methods Data were pooled from 16 participating case-control studies conducted internationally. Detailed individual occupational and smoking histories were available for 19 369 lung cancer cases (684 ever employed as painters) and 23 674 age-matched and sex-matched controls (532 painters). Multivariable unconditional logistic regression models were adjusted for age, sex, centre, cigarette pack-years, time-since-smoking cessation and lifetime work in other jobs that entailed exposure to lung carcinogens. Results Ever having worked as a painter was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in men (OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.50). The association was strongest for construction and repair painters and the risk was elevated for all histological subtypes, although more evident for small cell and squamous cell lung cancer than for adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. There was evidence of interaction on the additive scale between smoking and employment as a painter (relative excess risk due to interaction >0). Conclusions Our results by type/industry of painter may aid future identification of causative agents or exposure scenarios to develop evidence-based practices for reducing harmful exposures in painters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • cancer
  • epidemiology
  • painters
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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