A case-control study of self-reported exposures to pesticides and pancreas cancer in southeastern Michigan



A case-control study of pancreas cancer in residents, aged 30–79 years, of 18 counties in southeastern Michigan was conducted to investigate the risks of exposure to DDT and related materials in the general population. Sixty-six people with cytologically diagnosed pancreas cancer were identified using 7 participating hospitals in metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor. One hundred and thirty-one controls were frequency-matched to the cases on age, sex, ethicity and county of residence by random-digit dialing. All study participants were administered a questionnaire to assess life-time exposure to pesticides from both environmental and occupational sources, family history of cancer, past medical history, smoking history and demographic information. A statistically significant increased risk was found for self-reported exposure to ethylan (1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-methoxyphenyl) ethane). Increased odds ratios were observed for self-reported exposures to chloropropylate and DDT, as well as for the summary group of organochlorine pesticides which included all of these materials, though these associations were not significant. Int. J. Cancer 72:62–67, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss Inc.