Background: Cancer incidence in male farmers has been studied extensively; however, less is known about risk among women residing on farms or in agricultural areas, who may be exposed to pesticides by their proximity to crop fields. We extended a previous follow-up of the Iowa Women[U+05F3]s Health Study cohort to examine farm residence and the incidence of lymphohematopoietic cancers. Further, we investigated crop acreage within 750. m of residences, which has been associated with higher herbicide levels in Iowa homes. Methods: We analyzed data for a cohort of 37,099 Iowa women aged 55-69 years who reported their residence location (farm, rural (not a farm), town size based on population) at enrollment in 1986. We identified incident lymphohematopoietic cancers (1986-2009) by linkage with the Iowa Cancer Registry. Using a geographic information system, we geocoded addresses and calculated acreage of pasture and row crops within 750. m of homes using the 1992 National Land Cover Database. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in multivariate analyses of cancer risk in relation to both residence location and crop acreage. Results: As found in an earlier analysis of residence location, risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was higher among women living on farms (HR=2.23, 95%CI: 1.25-3.99) or rural areas (but not on a farm) (HR=1.95, 95%CI: 0.89-4.29) compared with women living in towns of >10,000 population. We observed no association between farm or rural residence and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL; overall or for major subtypes) or multiple myeloma. In analyses of crop acreage, we observed no association between pasture or row crop acreage within 750. m of homes and risk of leukemia overall or for the AML subtype. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) risk was nonsignificantly elevated among women with pasture acreage within 750. m of their home (HRs for increasing tertiles=1.8, 1.8 and 1.5) and with row crop acreage within 750. m (HRs for increasing tertiles of acreage=1.4, 1.5 and 1.6) compared to women with no pasture or row crop acreage, respectively. Conclusions: Iowa women living on a farm or in a rural area were at increased risk of developing AML, which was not related to crop acreage near the home. Living near pasture or row crops may confer an increased risk of CLL/SLL regardless of residence location. Further investigation of specific farm-related exposures and these cancers among women living on farms and in agricultural areas is warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health , National Cancer Institute (NCI) extramural Grants R01-CA39742 , K05-CA157439 , IR01-CA92674 , and Contract N02-CP-11015 . J.R. Nuckols was supported, in part, through an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement between the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and Colorado State University. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the University of Minnesota and the NCI. Participants’ informed consent was implied by their returning the enrollment questionnaire.
- Farm residence
- Land use