Traditionally, occupational research has focused primarily on white men, even though women comprise nearly half of the U.S. civilian workforce, and minorities are often employed in jobs with hazardous exposures. The OEEB has undertaken a number of epidemiologic studies with a substantial focus in occupation which include women and minorities during the past year. In the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study of more than 90,000 subjects, including approximately 32,000 women and 2,000 minorities, both direct occupational exposure and indirect environmental exposure to pesticides and other exposures are being evaluated. The Shanghai Women's Study is a prospective cohort study of 75,000 women conducted by Vanderbilt University in collaboration with NCI and the Shanghai Cancer Institute. Blood/buccal cell and urine samples have been collected from nearly 90% of participants. The fifth biennial follow-up is ongoing. Exposure assessment to benzene is ongoing, based on industrial monitoring data maintained by the Shanghai municipal government. Cancer risk in relation to occupation and industry of employment is being evaluated, including a recent report of lung cancer risk associated with employment in certain occupations that may have exposure to potential industrial carcinogens. An evaluation of shift work and breast cancer risk have reported no association, suggesting that it is premature to consider shift work as an occupational risk for breast. The New England Bladder Cancer study, a large multicenter case-control study of bladder cancer is on-going to examine environmental and occupational risk factors and the reasons for the consistently elevated incidence and mortality of this cancer in New England. In a hospital-based case-control study of kidney cancer in Central and Eastern Europe, an increased risk was associated with farm work, particularly among women. The U.S. kidney cancer study is the first study of this cancer that included a sufficient number of African Americans for separate evaluation of their risks, and the contribution of environmental and occupational risk factors to the racial disparity in incidence of this cancer. Data analyses are ongoing. NCI is leading the environmental sampling component of the California childhood leukemia case-control study. The approximately 40% Hispanic and 10% Asian participants in this study provide an opportunity to evaluate agricultural and other risk factors among these minorities. To evaluate the role of cigarette smoking in relation to risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, NCI investigators pooled questionnaire data from participating studies in a Barett's esophagus and adenocarcinoma consortium. Risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma increased consistently with increasing pack-years of smoking, and the risks were comparable between men and women.

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