Estimating the burden of occupational bladder cancer in Ontario using the CAREX Canada database
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Objective: This study attempts to estimate the proportion of incident cases of bladder cancer in Ontario, Canada that is due to exposure to occupational carcinogens. Methods: The population attributable risk approach is used to estimate the proportion of bladder cancer in Ontario that is due to occupation. Risk ratios were obtained from a review of epidemiologic literature using a priori inclusion and exclusion criteria. Summary risk estimates for each bladder carcinogen included were calculated using RevMan 4.2. The CAREX Canada database provided Ontario-specific estimates of the proportion of workers exposed to bladder carcinogens. Results: In Ontario, the proportion of bladder cancer due to occupational exposure is approximately 5.6% (95% CI 0.2% to 14%). Based on the incident number of bladder cancer cases in 2001 in Ontario, it is estimated that approximately 52 new cases of bladder cancer were due to occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), diesel exhaust, aromatic amines and 2-naphthylamine. An alternate interpretation is if these occupational exposures were eliminated, 52 cases of bladder cancer per year in Ontario alone could be avoided. Conclusion and Recommendations: The current study advances our knowledge of the extent to which specific occupational bladder carcinogens contribute to the overall bladder cancer burden in Ontario. The current study highlights the utility of the CAREX Canada database in advancing current knowledge on the burden of occupational cancer in Ontario. The methods used to estimate the proportion of bladder cancer attributable to occupational exposure in Ontario may be replicated to estimate the proportion of cancer in Ontario that is due to occupational exposure.