External Airborne-agent Exposure Increase Risk of Digestive Tract Cancer

Wanhyung Lee, Jihyun Kim, Sung Shil Lim, Yangwook Kim, Yeon Soon Ahn, Jin Ha Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have suggested that in addition to respiratory system cancers, exposure to external airborne agents (EAAs) may also affect the risk of digestive tract cancer. However, previous epidemiological studies have been limited. To clarify this relationship, we conducted a Workers’ Korea National Health Insurance Service cohort study. The EAA exposure group comprised participants who had ever visited a hospital as an inpatient for ‘lung diseases due to external agents’. The reference population comprised men from the general working population. The EAA exposure group and reference group included a total of 98,666 and 79,959,286 person-years, respectively. Age-adjusted standardized incident rates (SIRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each 5-year age stratum. The SIR (95% CI) of EAA exposure was 1.30 (1.19–1.38) for all digestive tract cancers. The highest risk associated with EAA exposure was observed for oral cancer, followed by esophageal and stomach cancers [SIRs (95%CI): 3.96 (3.02–4.78), 3.47(2.60–4.25), and 1.34(1.17–1.47), respectively.] These statistically significant associations did not be attenuated in a subgroup analysis using logistic regression adjusted for age, smoking and alcohol consumption. Our findings suggest that EAA exposure should address risk reduction of both digestive tract and respiratory system cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8617
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through “The Chemical Accident Prevention Technology Development Project” funded by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) (2017001970001). Y.S. Ahn had been awarded that grant. This work was supported by Korea Health Industry Development Institute through “Social and Environmental Risk Research” funded by Ministry of Health & Welfare (HI19C0052). J.H. Yoon had been awarded that grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'External Airborne-agent Exposure Increase Risk of Digestive Tract Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this