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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

On-line version ISSN 1989-7790Print version ISSN 0465-546X


BORIN MARIO, A.; VENTURA GARCIA, M.ª Ángeles  and  COCA SIMON, María del Pilar. Larynx cancer and occupational exposure to asbestos. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2015, vol.61, n.239, pp.273-283. ISSN 1989-7790.

Summary: The occupational exposure to asbestos fibers it's a known health risk. Laryngeal cancer due to inhalation of asbestos dust is included in Annex II of RD 1299/2006. Epidemiological studies up to date, have obtained conflicting results regarding the association. Objectives: Identifying the latest scientific evidences of an association between laryngeal cancer and occupational exposure to asbestos, to know the risk of having laryngeal cancer according to the frequency of exposure to asbestos, to know other vulnerabilities factors, and to identify the type of laryngeal cancer more frequent to said occupational exposure. Methods: A systematic review of articles of scientific evidence collected from different databases (Medline, OSH, Scopus, IBECS, ILO) conducting a literature search for MeSH descriptors (laryngeal neoplasms, occupational exposure, work exposure, asbestos) of articles published between 1999 and 2014, in humans, only original items, with a sample size larger of 30, in spanish, english, french, italian and portuguese. Duplicate studies, non-original studies and prevalence studies with no control group were excluded. Following this systematic reading was performed by evaluating the evidence level of the studies with the SIGN criteria. Results: 107 articles were collected through the literature search, after applying inclusion/exclusion criteria a total of 6 items were selected (4 case-control studies, 1 cohort study and 1 meta-analysis). Of these, 2 case-control studies and the cohort study achieved a statistically significant association between occupational exposure to asbestos and laryngeal cancer. The meta-analysis suggests association, although without obtaining statistical significance, while the remaining case-control studies reported a non-statistically significant association between laryngeal cancer and occupational exposure to asbestos. Discussion/Conclusion: Based on the results, it is evidenced an existence of discrepancy regarding the association between laryngeal cancer and occupational exposure. A statistically significant increased risk of presenting laryngeal cancer with an increased frequency of exposure to was exposed. Regarding the type of laryngeal cancer, a study achieved a statistically significant association, for the epiglottic localization. It would be advisable to conduct further studies of an observational design, with a larger duration and a larger sample size in order to increase the statistical significance and to minimize the possibility of research biases.

Keywords : Laryngeal neoplasms; occupational exposure; occupational disease; asbestos.

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