Familial risk of pleural mesothelioma increased drastically in certain occupations: A nationwide prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: We aimed to explore the effect of occupation on familial risk of pleural mesothelioma in a nationwide cohort study design. Method: The nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database includes all Swedes born after 1931 and their biological parents, totalling 16.1 million individuals with about 2.3 million cancer patients. Hazards ratios (HRs) were calculated adjusting for age, sex and region of residence. Results: Having asbestos-related occupation in the absence of family history of mesothelioma increased risk of mesothelioma more than threefold (adjusted HR = 3.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.0–3.5). In those who had a history of mesothelioma in their first-degree relatives and an asbestos-related occupation, risk of mesothelioma dramatically increased compared with individuals without such occupations and family history (without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] HR = 24, 95% CI: 15–39; with COPD 45, 95% CI: 15–141). In those who had a family history of mesothelioma and no history of an asbestos-related occupation, risk of mesothelioma did not show significant increase compared with those who had no family history of mesothelioma and no asbestos-related occupation (HR = 1.6; 95% CI: 0.7–3.8). Conclusion: First-degree relatives of patients with pleural mesothelioma had a drastic risk of developing this malignancy in case of certain occupations, which shows a gene–environment interaction is probable in risk of mesothelioma.


External organisations
  • German Cancer Research Centre
  • National Centre of Tumor Diseases
  • Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Shimane University
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Cancer Registry of Norway Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • University of Helsinki
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Familial risk, First-degree relatives, Mesothelioma, Occupation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch