Occupation and glioma: The Harris County Brain Tumor Study, 2001–2010

Susan Lackey, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The relationship between occupational exposures and glioma has not been adequately assessed due to the lack of studies in current scientific literature. To address this disparity, the Harris County Brain Tumor Study, an ongoing population-based case-control study, began in January 2001. Longest-held occupation for 382 cases and 629 controls were frequency matched on age (within 5 years), sex, and race and placed into 14 predetermined occupational categories. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each category using multiple logistic regression. Potential confounders assessed included sex, age, smoking status, education and income. For all subjects, significantly elevated adjusted odds ratios were found in health-related (aOR=1.66; 95%CI=1.03, 2.68), teaching (aOR=1.84; 95%CI=1.17, 2.88), and protective service (aOR=3.6; 95%CI=1.05, 12.31) occupational categories after controlling for sex and education. A significantly lowered odds ratio was seen in the writers, artists, and entertainers category (aOR=0.14; 95%CI=0.03, 0.58). In the stratified analyses, which controlled for education, males had a significantly elevated odds ratio for protective service workers (aOR=4.83; 95%CI=1.24, 18.83) while a significantly lower odds ratio was found in mechanics and machine operators (aOR=0.33; 95%CI=0.12,0.87). In females, we observed a significantly elevated odds ratio in teachers (aOR=1.99; 95%CI=1.20,3.31) and a significantly lower odds ratio in clerical workers (aOR=0.63; 95%CI=0.45,0.90). These analyses revealed several significant associations and allowed for separate analyses by gender, distinguishing this study from many glioma studies. Further analyses should provide a large enough sample size to stratify by gender as well as histological subtype.

Subject Area

Occupational health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Lackey, Susan, "Occupation and glioma: The Harris County Brain Tumor Study, 2001–2010" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1483403.