The Burden Of Occupational Cancer In Korea

Mia SON, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, South Korea
YUN J. 1 , LEE W. 2 , PARK S. 4 , JIN Y. 3 , YOO B. 1 , MOON E. 2

1 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea
2 Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College, Korea University, Korea
3 Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Korea
4 Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Korea

1. Objectives: The aim of this study was to produce an estimate of the current burden of occupational cancer for Korea.
2. Methods: The carcinogenic agents or exposure circumstances were identified for each cancer as those classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1 carcinogens. Estimates of relative risks of occupational carcinogens for each cancer are obtained from a search of the literatures from Asian studies for an occupational cancer. Meta analysis was done to estimate the occupational risk among the Asian literatures. Estimation of the proportion of the population exposed to each carcinogen was calculated, after thenthe Attributable Fraction(%) for each cancer for the target year i.e. 2007 was calculated.
3. Results: In Korea, 67112 deaths (42521 men and 24591 women) from cancer and 155771 incidences (82121 men and 73650) women) for cancer reported by Statistics Korea and National Cancer Center in 2007. For carcinogen with "strong plus suggestive" evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, the overall occupational attributable fraction (AF) for the cancer deaths in 2007 in Korea was estimated to be 11.62% in men and 3.25% in women with an overall estimate of 9.27% for men plus women. Estimated numbers of deaths attributable to occupation were 4943 for men and 798 for women giving a total of 6224. The proportion of cancer incidences in 2007 attributable to occupation was estimated to be 7.72% in men and 1.49% in women with an overall estimate of 5.13% for men plus women. Estimated numbers of incidences attributable to occupation were 6341 for men and 1099 for women giving a total of 7991.
4. Discussions: This study suggests that the numbers of deaths and incidences due to past high occupational exposures will continue to be substantial in the near future, particularly asbestos-related cancers.