TUESDAY, Nov. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Taiwanese men exposed to high concentrations of fine particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) have an increased risk for oral cancer, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

Yu-Hua Chu, from Asia University in Taichung City, Taiwan, and colleagues examined the correlation between PM2.5 and oral cancer among Taiwanese men using four linked data sources. The analysis included 482,659 men aged 40 years and older. Concentrations of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5), and PM2.5 were assessed in quartiles for 2009. The authors assessed the correlation between PM2.5 and oral cancer diagnosed from 2012 to 2013.

The researchers found that compared with PM2.5<26.74 µ/m³, the odds ratios for oral cancer were 0.91 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.75 to 1.11) for 26.74≤PM2.5<32.37, 1.01 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.20) for 32.37≤PM2.5<40.37, and 1.43 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.17 to 1.74) for PM2.5≥40.37 µg/m³.

“In conclusion, higher concentrations of PM2.5 may be associated with increased risk of oral cancer in Taiwanese men,” the authors write. “The mechanism through which this occurs is not clearly understood, hence further investigations are required.”

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