Manufacturing Industry Cancer Risk in Japan: A Multicenter Hospital-Based Case Control Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Gastroenterology, Kanto Rosai Hospital, 1-1 Kizukisumiyoshi-cho, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 211-8510 Japan.

2 Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan.


Background: It is well known that specific occupations can cause harm in developing malignant neoplasms. Chemical exposure is particularly high in the manufacturing industry and workers in this sector may face a higher occupational risk for cancer. We aimed to estimate inequalities in the risk of cancers related to occupational chemical exposure in various manufacturing categories. Methods: Using nationwide clinical inpatient data (1984−2017) in Japan, we undertook a multicenter, case-control study with regard to risks of developing cancers among various manufacturing industry categories. Using the food manufacturing industry as the reference group, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for each industry were estimated by conditional logistic regression, adjusted for sex, age, admission period, and the admitting hospital. Medical record summaries accounting for 89% of industrial categories with high odds ratios were collected to confirm diagnoses made on the basis of histology. We estimated industrial hazards based on the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. Results: A reduced risk for some of common cancers was observed among lumber and wood products industries. Leather tanning, leather products and fur tended to show a higher risk: 2.36 (95% CI 1.15−4.83) for pancreatic cancer, 2.85 (95% CI 1.26−6.47) for liver cancer and 2.00 (95% CI 1.01–3.99) for lung cancer. For the electronics category, observations of high risk ranged from 2.09 (95%CI 1.18–3.70) for ureter cancer, to 2.49 (95% CI 1.79–3.55) for kidney cancer. Conclusions: This study revealed industry risk inequalities in manufacturing categories were present with regard to the risk of common cancers in Japan.


Main Subjects

Volume 21, Issue 9
September 2020
Pages 2697-2707
  • Receive Date: 06 May 2020
  • Revise Date: 13 July 2020
  • Accept Date: 20 September 2020
  • First Publish Date: 20 September 2020