Lifestyle, environmental pollution and lung cancer in cities of Liaoning in northeastern China.Lung Cancer 1996; 14 Suppl 1:S149-60LC
Several studies were conducted in cities of Liaoning Province, one of the areas of China with heavy concentrations of industry, to investigate the effects of life-style factors and environmental pollutants on lung cancer causation. A case-control study involving 1249 lung cancer patients and 1345 population-based controls was conducted in 1985-1988 in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning. Cigarette smoking was found to be the principal cause of lung cancer in this population, accounting for 55% of the disease in males and 37% in females. There was also a significant increase in lung cancer risk associated with an overall index of indoor air pollution due to coal-burning emission. The population attributable risk (PAR) for indoor air pollution was 13% for males and 17% for females. Risks were significantly increased for workers in the non-ferrous smelter (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6, 95% CI, 1.3-5.1), chemical and drug manufacturing (OR = 3.0, 95% CI, 1.0-8.0), and the glass and pottery industry (OR = 1.6, 95% CI, 1.0-2.5). Studies in the Anshan Iron-Steel Complex showed a significant excess of lung cancer for workers exposed to a variety of dusts. A standardized proportional mortality ratio (SPMR) study of 8887 deaths during 1980-1989 among male workers of the complex indicated a 37% excess risk of lung cancer compared to residents of the city. A nested case-control study was then conducted in that complex. A total of 610 cases of lung cancer diagnosed during 1987-1993 and 959 randomly selected controls from 196 993 active and retired employees of the complex were interviewed. Historical monitoring records for dust and benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) were collected from 1956-1992 to calculate cumulative exposure for each person. Results suggested that risks were increased for all occupations in which there was exposure to dusts, with the highest risks seen among coke oven workers (OR = 3.5, 95% CI, 2.0-6.4) and fire-resistant brick makers (OR = 2.9, 95% CI, 1.9-4.4). Significant dose-response patterns between cumulative total dust, cumulative total B(a)P and lung cancer risk were observed. The findings suggest that smoking and environmental pollution combine to account for elevated rates of lung cancer in cities of northeastern China.