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Table 8 Case-control studies of formaldehyde exposure and lymphohemtopoietic malignancies

From: Does formaldehyde have a causal association with nasopharyngeal cancer and leukaemia?

Authors (Years), Country Characteristics of cases and controls Exposure assessment Exposure categories OR (95% CI)
Lions et al. (1990), USA [49] 578 male cases of leukemia and 722 non-Hodgkin lymphoma; 1245 population-based controls Lifetime occupational history Ever employed in funeral home or  
crematorium  
Leukemia 2.1 (0.4–10.0)
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 3.2 (0.8–13.4)
Partanen et al. (1993), Finland [50] Nested case control study, Cohort with workers in wood industry (n = 7307); Leukemia (n = 12), Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 4) and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 8); Matched by year of birth and vital status in 1983. Leukemia (n = 73), Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 21) and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 52) Work history from company records complemented for cases only by interviews with plant personnel and questionnaires completed by subjects or next of kin; plant- and period-specific job–exposure matrix Leukemia  
≥ 3 ppm-months 1.40 (0.25–7.91)
Hodgkin diseases  
≥ 3 ppm-months -
Non-Hodgkin disease  
≥ 3 ppm-months 4.24 (0.68–26.6)
Blair et al. (2001), USA [51] 513 white men, 30 ≥ years, from the Cancer Registry of Iowa and a surveillance network of hospitals in Minnesota; 132 acute myeloid, 46 chronic myeloid leukemia cases; 1087 controls by random-digit dialing, frequency matched by 5-year age group, vital status at time of interview and state of residence Personal interviews including lifetime occupational history; formaldehyde assessed in a blinded shion in terms of probability and intensity, each on a 4-point scale based on job title and industry Acute myeloid leukemia  
Low-medium 0.9 (0.5–1.6)
High -
Chronic myeloid leukemia  
Low-medium 1.3 (0.6–3.1)
High 2.9 (0.3–24.5)
Hauptmann et al. (2009), USA [52] 168 professionals in the funeral industry and died from lymphohematopoietic malignancies; 265 matched controls were randomly selected from individuals in the same industry whose deaths were attributed to other causes and were stratified to be similar to the case subjects with respect to data source, sex, and dates of birth and death (5-year intervals); 1960–86. Life time work practices and exposures in the funeral industry, which were obtained by interviews with next of kin and coworkers, and to estimated levels of formaldehyde exposure. Myeloid Leukemia  
Embalming ever 11.2 (1.3–95.6)
Duration of embalming (year)  
> 0–20 5.0 (0.5–51.6)
> 20–34 12.9 (1.4–117.1)
> 34 13.6 (1.6–119.7)
p-trend 0.020
< 500 embalmings 1.0 (Ref.)
Duration of embalming (year)  
≤20 0.5 (0.1–2.9)
> 20–34 3.2 (1.0–10.1)
> 34 3.9 (1.2–12.5)
p-trend 0.020
  1. OR, Odds ratio