The inclusion of women in studies of occupational cancer: a review of the epidemiologic literature from 1991-2009

Hohenadel K, Raj P, Demers PA, Zahm SH, Blair A. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 2015 Mar;58(3):276-81.

Introduction: Since the early 1990s, researchers have been concerned with the low rate at which women are included in epidemiologic studies of occupational cancer. A previous evaluation determined that one-third of articles published between 1970 and 1990 included women.

Methods: To assess whether there has been an improvement in recent years, papers on occupational cancer between 1991 and 2009 were reviewed in fifteen journals.

Results: The proportion of articles that included men remained stable around 90%, while the proportion of articles that included women increased substantially, from 39% in 1991-1995 to 62% in 2006-2009. Articles that assessed risk among men only or men and women presented a higher number of risk estimates and were more likely to evaluate dose-response relationships than studies including women.

Conclusions: Despite advances in the inclusion of women in studies of occupational cancer, disparities remain in the number of studies of occupational cancer and depth of analysis in studies that included women.