Nicholas Reul

Project title: Occupational Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer Among Female Shanghai, China Textile Workers: An Updated Nested Case-cohort Study

Degree: MPH | Program: Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2012


Pancreatic caner is of particular public health importance given its disproportionate contribution to cancer death. In the United States pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death. Yet occupational risk factors for pancreatic cancer have been inadequately studied in large populations, particularly among textile workers. These occupational exposures represent a potential target for reduction in pancreatic cancer death.

A prior nested case-cohort study of 180 incident cases and 318 non-cases investigated occupational risk factors for pancreatic cancer in a Shanghai, China cohort of 267, 400 female textile workers followed from 1989-1998. The findings indicate dose-related reduced risks associated with endotoxin, a contaminant of cotton dust. We have since updated the Shanghai cohort with an additional eight years of data (now including 1989-2006), and repeated the case-cohort analysis to look for associations between pancreatic cancer and three groups of exposures: metals, solvents, and endotoxin.

We did not find much evidence of an association between estimated endotoxin exposures and the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. We did not find strong evidence of association of association between metals and solvents exposures and the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.