Neuroblastoma and parental occupation

Andrew F. Olshan, Anneclaire J. De Roos, Kay Teschke, Joseph P. Neglia, Daniel O. Stram, Brad H. Pollock, Robert P. Castleberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objectives: We evaluated parental occupation and the risk of neuroblastoma using data from a large case-control study conducted by the Children's Cancer Group and the Pediatric Oncology Group. Methods: We compared the distribution of 73 paternal and 57 maternal occupational groups among 504 newly diagnosed cases of neuroblastoma and individually matched controls obtained by telephone random digit dialing in the United States and Canada. Results: An increased risk of neuroblastoma was found for fathers employed as broadcast, telephone and dispatch operators (odds ratio [OR] = 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.7-50.9), electrical power installers and power plant operators (OR = 2.7; CI = 0.9-8.1), landscapers and groundskeepers (OR = 2.3; CI = 1.0-5.2), and painters (OR = 2.1; CI = 0.9-4.8). Elevated odds ratios were found for mothers employed as farmers and farm workers (OR = 2.2; CI = 0.6-8.8), florists and garden store workers (OR = 2.4; CI = 0.6-9.9), hairdressers and barbers (OR = 2.8; CI = 1.2-6.3), electric power installers and power plant operators, and sailors, fishers, and railroad workers. No increase in risk was found for other paternal occupations previously associated, including electricians, electrical equipment assemblers and repairers (OR = 1.1; CI = 0.6-2.0), or welders (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.1-1.6). Conclusion: The study reinforced some prior evidence of increased risks in electrical, farming and gardening, and painting occupations, but failed to confirm other previously reported associations. Further analyses of exposure to electromagnetic fields, metals, solvents, and pesticides are currently under way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Joanna Smith for programming support, and Dr. Charles Poole for his helpful comments. This study was funded in part by the US National Cancer Institute (CA 57004). Contributing Children's Cancer Group and Pediatric Oncology Group investigators, institutions, and grant numbers are given in the Appendix.


  • Female
  • Male
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Occupational health
  • Occupations


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