Occupation and larynx and hypopharynx cancer: An international case-control study in France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland

Paolo Boffetta, Lorenzo Richiardi, Franco Berrino, Jacques Estève, Paola Pisani, Paolo Crosignani, Luc Raymond, Lourdes Zubiri, Angel Del Moral, Willy Lehmann, Francesco Donato, Benedetto Terracini, Albert Tuyns, Franco Merletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To estimate risks for laryngeal/hypopharyngeal cancer associated with occupational titles and industrial activities. Methods: A multicentre population-based case-control study was conducted in the early 1980s in six southern European areas. Analyses included 1010 male cases and 2176 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) (adjusted for age, study area, tobacco consumption, and alcohol consumption) were estimated for 156 occupations and 70 industrial activities. Results: An excess risk has been confirmed for categories of construction workers, potters (OR: 5.91, 95% confidence intervals 1.46-24.0), butchers (2.53, 1.22-5.22), barbers (2.33, 1.00-5.40), laborers not otherwise specified (1.52, 1.12-2.06), as well as for men who had been employed in railway transport (1.52, 0.97-2.39), shipbuilding (2.05, 0.89-4.94), and hotels (2.06, 0.89-4.75). An association was also found for shoe finishers (3.23, 0.75-13.9), loggers (2.07, 0.87-4.90), and some groups of metal workers. ORs for loggers, butchers, railway transport workers, laborers, and reinforced concreters increased with duration of employment. The suggestion of a risk for machine operators among woodworkers (3.10, 0.92-10.5) conflicts with previous findings. No significant excess of risk was found for categories previously reported to be associated with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, such as drivers, mechanics, welders, machinists, and painters. Conclusions: The present study provides additional evidence to the hypothesis of a risk of cancer of the larynx/hypopharynx for workers engaged in jobs in the construction, metal, textile, ceramic, and food industries and in railway transport. Loggers were also found at risk; a previously unreported finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


  • Barbers
  • Butchers
  • Construction workers
  • Hypopharynx cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Occupation
  • Potters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Cancer Research


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