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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Parental occupational exposure to diesel engine exhaust in relation to childhood leukaemia and central nervous system cancers: a register-based nested case-control study in Denmark 1968-2016

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OBJECTIVES: Using nationwide register data, we investigated the association between maternal and paternal perinatal employment in industries with exposure to diesel engine exhaust and risk of leukaemia and central nervous system (CNS) cancers, including certain subtypes.

METHODS: Children aged≤19 years and diagnosed with childhood cancer from 1968 to 2016 were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry and 25 randomly selected cancer-free controls per case were matched by age and sex. Parents were identified in the Danish Civil Registration System and employment histories were retrieved from a nationwide mandatory pension fund. The probability of exposure to diesel engine exhaust was assessed using a validated job exposure matrix. Conditional logistic regression was used for estimation of ORs, including their 95% CIs.

RESULTS: Maternal employment in industries with diesel engine exhaust exposure was associated with an increased risk of CNS cancers (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.74) and of astrocytoma (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.14) in offspring. The highest OR for these cancers were seen for mothers with highest probability of exposure to diesel engine exhaust. For fathers, ORs for cancers under study were close to one. No increased risks of leukaemias were found for either mothers or fathers employed in diesel industries.

CONCLUSIONS: Risks were increased for CNS and astrocytoma for maternal employment in industries with diesel engine exhaust.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume76
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)809-817
Number of pages9
ISSN1351-0711
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 59082323