Article

Cancer mortality and farming in South Korea: an ecologic study.

Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, 136-705, Korea.
Cancer Causes and Control (Impact Factor: 2.96). 07/2008; 19(5):505-13. DOI: 10.1007/s10552-008-9112-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to examine the geographical difference of cancer mortality to determine any potential associations between cancer mortality and farming in South Korea.
We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) based on age- and gender-specific cancer mortality rates for 245 geographic areas, using the registered death data from 2000 to 2004 that were obtained from the Korea National Statistical Office. Using the data from the Agriculture Census in 1995, we obtained the farming index. Poisson regression analysis was used to evaluate the associations between cancer mortality and farming after adjustment for socioeconomic factors.
The SMR analyses based on 62,403 annual average cancer deaths yielded regional variations for all cancers combined in men (SMR = 70-192) and women (SMR = 80-132). With increasing farming index we found significantly elevated cancer mortality of esophagus, stomach, brain, and leukemia for men, and of esophagus and stomach for women, whereas the SMR for colorectal and gall bladder cancers were inversely associated with farming. The results were similar when the analyses were repeated after the exclusion of metropolitan areas.
Our findings suggest a possible association between farming and mortality from a few cancer sites in South Korea.

1 Bookmark
 · 
161 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Farmwork is one of the most hazardous occupations for men and women. Research suggests sex/gender shapes hazardous workplace exposures and outcomes for farmworkers. This paper reviews the occupational health literature on farmworkers, assessing how gender is treated and interpreted in exposure-outcome studies.Methods The paper evaluates peer-reviewed articles on men and women farmworkers' health published between 2000 and 2012 in PubMed or SCOPUS. Articles were identified and analyzed for approaches toward sampling, data analysis, and use of exposure indicators in relation to sex/gender.Results18% of articles reported on and interpreted sex/gender differences in health outcomes and exposures. Sex/gender dynamics often shaped health outcomes, yet adequate data was not collected on established sex/gender risk factors relating to study outcomes.Conclusion Research can better incorporate sex/gender analysis into design, analytical and interpretive approaches to better explore its mediation of health outcomes in light of emerging calls to mainstream gender research. Am. J. Ind. Med. 9999:1–24, 2014. © 2014 The Authors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 09/2014; · 1.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although pesticides have increased crop production and controlled disease, they have produced a number of adverse health effects. Pesticides have potential human toxicity and a variety of groups, such as farmers or industrial workers, as well as the general population, are exposed to pesticides. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to provide an overview of pesticide exposure and health through a literature review, focusing on exposure assessment, acute poisoning, chronic health effects, and future research needs. The exposure types and levels of pesticides vary by study subjects and need to be assessed by integrating several methods focused on the epidemiological purpose. Acute pesticide poisoning is a major public health problem in the world. Paraquat is the main causative pesticide for acute poisoning in Korea and should be banned in order to save several thousands of lives every year. Occupational pesticide exposure also causes numerous chronic diseases among farmers and industrial workers, including cancers, respiratory diseases, depression, retinal degeneration, diabetes, and abnormal menstrual cycle. However, controversy exists regarding the long-term effects of low-dose environmental pesticide exposure. The area of pesticide study is relatively new with broad study populations and it has received little academic and policy attention, particularly in Korea. More detailed studies investigating the risk of pesticide-related health effects and intervention efforts to reduce the problems are needed in Korea.
    Korean Journal of Environmental Health Sciences. 01/2011; 37(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between leukemia mortality and exposure to farming among children in South Korea. Methods A retrospective cohort study of South Korean children was conducted using data collected by the national birth register between 1995 and 2006; these data were then individually linked to death data. A cohort of 6,479,406 children was followed from birth until either their death or until December 31, 2006. For surrogate measures of pesticide exposure, we used residence at birth, paternal occupation, and month of conception from the birth certificate. Farming and pesticide exposure indexes by county were calculated using information derived from the 2000 agricultural census. Poisson regression analyses were used to calculate rate ratios (RRs) of childhood leukemia deaths according to indices of exposure to agricultural pesticides after adjustment for potential confounders. Results In total 585 leukemia deaths were observed during the study period. Childhood leukemia mortality was significantly elevated in children born in rural areas (RR = 1.43, 95%CI 1.09–1.86) compared to those in metropolises, and in counties with both the highest farming index (RR = 1.33, 95%CI 1.04–1.69) and pesticide exposure index (RR = 1.30, 95%CI 1.02–1.66) compared to those in the reference group. However, exposure–response associations were significant only in relation to the farming index. When the analyses were limited to rural areas, the risk of death from leukemia among boys conceived between spring and fall increased over those conceived in winter. Conclusions Our results show an increase in mortality from childhood leukemia in rural areas; however, further studies are warranted to investigate the environmental factors contributing to the excess mortality from childhood leukemia in rural areas.
    Cancer Epidemiology. 01/2014;