High risk of brain tumors in farmers: a mini-review of the literature, and report of the results of a case control study
Even though a relationship between farmer work and the development of brain tumors was suggest by the scientific literature, a small number of italian studies investigate on the impact of this job on the cancer morbidity of farmer population.
The informations about this case–control study were obtained from patients recruited in the Neurosurgical Department of the University-Hospital of Pisa, Italy, from 1990 to 2000.
One hundred and seventy-four, newly diagnosed cases of brain tumors (glioma and meningiomas, histologically confirmed), were recruited, such as 522 controls (with other non tumoral neurologic diseases: trauma, etc), by matching cases and controls (1:3), for age (± 5 years) and gender.
Cases and controls were interviewed in the Neurosurgical Department, University-Hospital of Pisa, Italy, and the occupational histories of cases and controls were compared.
Cases and controls have showed a statistically significant difference, based on their occupation (agricultural vs. non-agricultural). We observed a significant association among brain tumors and rural activity in evaluated patients (P=0.008).
Further studies regarding this population group are needed, to determine the causes for the increased risk of this cancer, particularly in regions where there is an intense agricultural activity and where pesticides are used. Furthermore, a subsequent reevaluation in other patients collected in more recent years will be needed to evaluate the trend of this association