Bladder cancer, drinking water source, and tap water consumption: A case-control study

K. P. Cantor, R. Hoover, P. Hartge, T. J. Mason, D. T. Silverman, R. Altman, D. F. Austin, M. A. Child, C. R. Key, L. D. Marrett, M. H. Myers, A. S. Narayana, L. I. Levin, J. W. Sullivan, G. M. Swanson, D. B. Thomas, D. W. West

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    195 Scopus citations


    Data from a population-based case-control interview study of incident bladder cancer in 10 areas of the United States were used to estimate relative risks among white men (2,116 cases, 3,892 controls) and women (689 cases, 1,366 controls) according to beverage intake level and type of water source. Individual year-by-year profiles of water source and treatment were developed by linking lifetime residential information with historical water utility data from an ancillary survey. Risk of bladder cancer increased with intake level of beverages made with tap water. The odds ratio (OR) for the highest vs. lowest quintile of tap water consumption was 1.43 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.23, 1.67; χ2 for trend = 26.3, P < .001]. The risk gradient with intake was restricted to persons with at least a 40-year exposure to chlorinated surface water and was not found among long-term users of nonchlorinated ground water. The ORs for the highest vs. lowest quintiles of tap water intake were 1.7 and 2.0, respectively, among subjects with 40-59 and ≥60 years' exposure. Duration of exposure to chlorinated surface water was associated with bladder cancer risk among women and nonsmokers of both sexes. Among non-smoking respondents with tap water consumption above the population median, the OR increased with exposure duration to a level of 3.1 (CI = 1.3, 7.3; χ2 for trend = 6.3, P = .01) for ≥60 years of residence at places served by chlorinated surface water (vs. nonchlorinated gound water users). These results extend findings of earlier epidemiologic studies and are consistent with environmental chemistry and toxicologic data demonstrating the presence of genotoxic by-products of chlorine disinfection in treated surface waters.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1269-1279
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 1 1987

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bladder cancer, drinking water source, and tap water consumption: A case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Cantor, K. P., Hoover, R., Hartge, P., Mason, T. J., Silverman, D. T., Altman, R., Austin, D. F., Child, M. A., Key, C. R., Marrett, L. D., Myers, M. H., Narayana, A. S., Levin, L. I., Sullivan, J. W., Swanson, G. M., Thomas, D. B., & West, D. W. (1987). Bladder cancer, drinking water source, and tap water consumption: A case-control study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 79(6), 1269-1279.