Multiple myeloma and diesel and other occupational exposures in Swedish construction workers

Won Jin Lee, Dalsu Baris, Bengt Järvholm, Debra T. Silverman, Ingvar A. Bergdahl, Aaron Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the relationships between occupational exposures and the risk of multiple myeloma among male construction workers in Sweden. A total of 446 myeloma subjects were identified among 365,424 male workers followed from 1971 to 1999. Occupational exposure was assessed using a semiquantitative job-exposure matrix, based on a survey carried out by the Construction Industry's Organization for Working Environment, Occupational Safety and Health in Sweden. Rate ratios (RRs) in the exposed groups relative to the unexposed groups were estimated by Poisson regression. We found an increased risk (RR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.04-1.71) among construction workers exposed to diesel exhaust. Adjustment for other occupational exposures did not change this estimate (RR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.00-1.77). However, there was no monotonic increase in risk with estimated level of exposure (RR for low = 1.4, moderate = 1.1, high = 1.4). There was no evidence of increased risk associated with the other occupational exposures among these construction workers, including asbestos, asphalt, cement dust, metal dust, mineral wool, organic solvents, stone dust and wood dust. Occupational exposure to diesel exhaust in the Swedish construction industry may present a small risk of multiple myeloma, but lack of an exposure-response trend tempers our ability to draw clear conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction industry
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Occupational exposure
  • Sweden

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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