Background: About 50% of lung cancer deaths in Taiwan are not related to cigarette smoking. Environmental exposure may play a role in lung cancer risk. Taiwanese households frequently burn mosquito coil at home to repel mosquitoes. The aim of this hospital-based case-control study was to determine whether exposure to mosquito coil smoke is a risk for lung cancer. Methods: Questionnaires were administered to 147 primary lung cancer patients and 400 potential controls to ascertain demographic data, occupation, lifestyle data, indoor environmental exposures (including habits of cigarette smoking, cooking methods, incense burning at home, and exposure to mosquito coil smoke), as well as family history of cancer and detailed medical history. Results: Mosquito coil smoke exposure was more frequent in lung cancer patients than controls (38.1 % vs. 17.8%; p<0.01). Risk of lung cancer was significantly higher in frequent burners of mosquito coils (more than 3 times [days] per week) than nonburners (adjusted odds ratio = 3.78; 95% confidence interval: 1.55-6.90). Those who seldom burned mosquito coils (less than 3 times per week) also had a significantly higher risk of lung cancer (adjusted odds ratio = 2.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.60-4.50). Conclusion: Exposure to mosquito coil smoke may be a risk factor for development of lung cancer. Copyright © 2008 by the Japan Epidemiological Association.
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