DOI: 10.1002/ijc.34864 ISSN: 0020-7136

Long‐term exposure to air pollution and incidence of gastric and the upper aerodigestive tract cancers in a pooled European cohort: The ELAPSE project

Gabriele Nagel, Jie Chen, Andrea Jaensch, Lea Skodda, Sophia Rodopoulou, Maciej Strak, Kees de Hoogh, Zorana J. Andersen, Tom Bellander, Jørgen Brandt, Daniela Fecht, Francesco Forastiere, John Gulliver, Ole Hertel, Barbara Hoffmann, Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt, Klea Katsouyanni, Matthias Ketzel, Karin Leander, Patrik K. E. Magnusson, Göran Pershagen, Debora Rizzuto, Evangelia Samoli, Gianluca Severi, Massimo Stafoggia, Anne Tjønneland, Roel C. H. Vermeulen, Kathrin Wolf, Emanuel Zitt, Bert Brunekreef, Gerard Hoek, Ole Raaschou‐Nielsen, Gudrun Weinmayr
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Air pollution has been shown to significantly impact human health including cancer. Gastric and upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers are common and increased risk has been associated with smoking and occupational exposures. However, the association with air pollution remains unclear. We pooled European subcohorts (N = 287,576 participants for gastric and N = 297,406 for UADT analyses) and investigated the association between residential exposure to fine particles (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon (BC) and ozone in the warm season (O3w) with gastric and UADT cancer. We applied Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for potential confounders at the individual and area‐level. During 5,305,133 and 5,434,843 person‐years, 872 gastric and 1139 UADT incident cancer cases were observed, respectively. For gastric cancer, we found no association with PM2.5, NO2 and BC while for UADT the hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) were 1.15 (95% CI: 1.00–1.33) per 5 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5, 1.19 (1.08–1.30) per 10 μg/m3 increase in NO2, 1.14 (1.04–1.26) per 0.5 × 10−5 m−1 increase in BC and 0.81 (0.72–0.92) per 10 μg/m3 increase in O3w. We found no association between long‐term ambient air pollution exposure and incidence of gastric cancer, while for long‐term exposure to PM2.5, NO2 and BC increased incidence of UADT cancer was observed.

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