Table_4_The Effect of Hexavalent Chromium on the Incidence and Mortality of Human Cancers: A Meta-Analysis Based on Published Epidemiological Cohort Studies.DOC

Background: Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is an occupational carcinogen that can cause lung and nasal cancers, but its association with mortality and incidence in many other cancers is unclear.

Objectives: In this meta-analysis, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between exposure to Cr(VI) and the mortality and incidence of human cancers.

Methods: We performed a search of the literature and extracted the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs), standardized incidence ratios (SIRs), and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs), to estimate risk values. Subgroup analyses were conducted by sex, occupation, and types of cancer to identify groups that were at high-risk or predisposed to certain cancers.

Results: A total of 47 cohort studies covering the period 1985–2016 were included (37 studies reporting SMRs and 16 studies reporting SIRs). The summary SMR for all studies combined was 1.07 (95% CI: 1.01–1.15). Summary SMRs were higher among chromate production workers, chrome platers, and masons, and especially male workers. In the subgroup analysis, Cr(VI) exposure was related to a higher risk of death owing to lung, larynx, bladder, kidney, testicular, bone, and thyroid cancer. The meta-SIR of all studies combined was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.04–1.09). Summary SIRs were elevated among cement industry workers and tanners. Cr(VI) exposure was related to an elevated risk of respiratory system, buccal cavity, pharynx, prostate, and stomach cancers.

Conclusions: Cr(VI) might cause cancers of the respiratory system, buccal cavity and pharynx, prostate, and stomach in humans, and it is related to increased risk of overall mortality owing to lung, larynx, bladder, kidney, testicular, bone, and thyroid cancer. In addition, there was a strong association between incidence and mortality risk of cancers and concentration of Cr(VI) in the air and the exposure time.