Prostate cancer and driving occupations: could whole body vibration play a role?

Young E, Kreiger N, Purdham J, Sass-Kortsak A.
Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009 Apr;82(5):551-6. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

PURPOSE: To summarize the literature on the risk of prostate cancer in whole body vibration (WBV) related occupations and estimate a combined meta-rate ratio.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of five case-control and three cohort studies published between 1996 and 2004 was conducted. A pooled relative risk (RR) estimate was calculated and the studies were evaluated for homogeneity and publication bias.

RESULTS: The overall pooled RR estimate was 1.14 (95% CI 0.99-1.30) for the random effects model, based on 17 estimates of relative risk from the eight studies. Significant heterogeneity was found. There was no indication of publication bias.

CONCLUSIONS: The increased, though not statistically significant pooled RR for prostate cancer obtained in this meta-analysis indicates that occupational exposure to WBV cannot be ruled out as a possible risk factor for the disease. However, all included studies involved driving occupations with exposure to other risk factors for prostate cancer. Therefore, further epidemiologic studies are needed to better understand this association.

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