Risk of lung cancer in relation to contiguous windows of endotoxin exposure among female textile workers in Shanghai

Ilir Agalliu, Sadie Costello, Katie M. Applebaum, Roberta M. Ray, George Astrakianakis, Dao Li Gao, David B. Thomas, Harvey Checkoway, Ellen A. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective Exposure to endotoxin has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. However, there is a paucity of information regarding temporal aspects of this relationship. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between contiguous windows of endotoxin exposure and risk of lung cancer. Methods Data were reanalyzed from a case-cohort study (602 cases, 3,038 subcohort) of female textile workers in Shanghai, China. Cumulative endotoxin exposure was partitioned into two windows: C20≥and≥<20 years before risk. Exposure-response relations were examined using categorical and non-linear (semi-parametric) models, accounting for confounding by previous exposure windows. Results There was an inverse trend of decreasing risk of lung cancer associated with increasing levels of endotoxin exposure C20≥years before risk (p trend = 0.02). Women in the highest two categories of cumulative exposures had hazard ratios of 0.78 (95% CI 0.60-1.03) and 0.77 (95% CI 0.58-1.02) for lung cancer, respectively, in comparison with unexposed textile workers. There was, however, aweaker association and not statistically significant between lung cancer and endotoxin exposure accumulated in the more recent window (<20 years before risk). Conclusion Results provide further evidence that endotoxin exposure that occurred 20 years or more before riskconfers the strongest protection against lung cancer, indicating a possible early anti-carcinogenic effect. Further studies are needed to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms for this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1404
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Case-cohort analysis
  • Endotoxin
  • Exposure-response models
  • Exposurewindows
  • Latency
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-parametric models
  • Splines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of lung cancer in relation to contiguous windows of endotoxin exposure among female textile workers in Shanghai'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this