Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among asthmatics exposed to pesticides

Won Jin Lee, Kenneth P. Cantor, Jay A. Berzofsky, Shelia H. Zahm, Aaron Blam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a pooled analysis of population-based case-control studies in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska to investigate whether asthma modifies risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) associated with pesticide exposures. Cases (n = 872) diagnosed with NHL from 1980 to 1986 and frequency-matched controls (n = 2,381) randomly selected from the same geographic areas as the cases were included. Information on use of pesticides and history of asthma was based on interviews. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate ORs, adjusted for age, state and vital status. Of all subjects, 177 (45 cases, 132 controls) reported having been told by their doctor that they had asthma. Subjects with an asthma history had a nonsignificantly lower risk of NHL than nonasthmatics (OR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4), and there was no main effect of pesticide exposure (OR = 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.2). However, asthmatics tended to have larger ORs associated with exposure to pesticides than nonasthmatics. The OR among asthmatics was 1.8 (95% CI 1.1-3.2) for everuse of crop insecticides, 2.7 (95% CI 1.0-7.2) for chlordane, 2.4 (95% CI 1.0-5.7) for lindane and 3.7 (95% CI 1.3-10.9) for fonofos. Among nonasthmatics, ORs were 1.1 (0.9-1.3), 1.5 (1.1-2.2), 1.3 (0.97-1.8) and 1.6 (1.0-2.4), respectively. Although there is limited power for assessing interaction, our results suggest that the risk of NHL among asthmatics with pesticide exposure may be higher than among nonasthmatics with pesticide exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Farmer
  • Insecticide
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Pesticide exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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