Occupational-related exposure to diesel exhaust and risk of leukemia: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

Darshi Shah, Vincent DeStefano, Giulia Collatuzzo, Federica Teglia, Paolo Boffetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Diesel exhaust (DE) is an established lung carcinogen. The association with leukemia is not well established. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies to determine the association between occupational DE exposure and risk of leukemia. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed to identify all cohort studies on occupational exposure to DE and associated risk of leukemia. STROBE guidelines and PECOS criteria were followed. Meta-analyses with fixed effects (and random-effects model in cases of high heterogeneity) were performed to calculate summary relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), including subgroup analyses by outcome (mortality or incidence), sex, geographic region, industry type, and study quality. Study quality was assessed using the the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist for cohort studies. Results: Of the 30 studies retained, 20 (8 from North America, 12 from Europe) reported a total of 33 estimates of the risk of leukemia. Overall, the relative risk (RR) of leukemia was 1.01 (95% CI = 0.97–1.05, I2 = 21.2%, n = 33); corresponding results for leukemia incidence and mortality were RR = 1.02 (95% CI = 0.98–1.06, I2 = 27.9%, n = 19) and RR = 0.91 (95% CI = 0.81–1.02, I2 = 0.0%, n = 15), respectively. The main results were confirmed in analyses by sex and geographic area. A statistically significant association was detected for miners (RR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.15–2.15, I2 = 77.0%, n = 2) but not for other occupational groups. Publication bias was not detected (p = 0.7). Conclusion: Our results did not indicate an association between occupational DE exposure and leukemia, with the possible exception of miners. Residual confounding cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume97
Issue number2
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diesel exhaust
  • Leukemia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Occupational exposure
  • Systematic review

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