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Keywords:

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphomas;
  • farm animals;
  • swine;
  • cattle;
  • male farm residents, Canada

Abstract

Background

A majority of published studies indicate that farmers have an elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) compared to other workers.

Methods

We evaluated accidental exposure to pesticides, the use of personal protective equipment, and exposure to animals among male farm residents in a Canadian population-based, multi-centre, NHL-control questionnaire study.

Results

In a multivariate model, the following variables had statistically significant adjusted odds ratios (OR) using 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) (a) higher risk: having more than 13 head of swine, raising bison, elk or ostriches, a personal history of cancer, > 4 and ≤ 15 years of farm residence and occupational exposure to diesel fuel and exhaust; (b) lower risk: raising cattle and a personal history of measles.

Conclusions

Future multidisciplinary studies of NHL should include a comprehensive review of exposure to animals in sufficient detail to assess etiological mechanisms to explain the putative associations between exposure to farm animals and NHL. Am. J. Ind. Med. Suppl. 2:54–61, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.