Prostate cancer and occupational exposure to whole-body vibration in a national population-based cohort study

Jones MK, Harris MA, Peters PA, Tjepkema M, Demers PA. Am J Ind Med. 2014 Aug;57(8):896-905.

Background: Following preliminary evidence from observational studies, we test the potential relationship between whole-body vibration (WBV) and prostate cancer in a cohort study.

Methods: WBV exposure was assigned based on occupation in 1991 and 1,107,700 participants were followed for incident prostate cancer until the end of 2003. Adjusted hazard rate ratios (HRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards modeling.

Results: 17,922 incident prostate cancer cases were observed. WBV-exposed men in Natural and Applied Sciences Occupations had a 37% elevated risk of prostate cancer (95% CI 1.09-1.72) and WBV-exposed men in Trades, Transport, and Equipment Operators Occupations had a 9% reduced risk (95% CI 0.86-0.97). Independent of WBV exposure, small but significant differences in risk were seen for several occupational categories.

Conclusions: We found no consistent relationship between WBV and prostate cancer. Further research could focus on other exposures or specific occupations in the studied categories to determine what may be contributing to the observed differences in prostate cancer risk.