This study examined oral cancer in a cohort of 78 140 women aged 30–84 years in Karunagappally, Kerala, India, on whom baseline information was collected on lifestyle, including tobacco chewing, and sociodemographic factors during the period 1990–1997. By the end of 2005, 92 oral cancer cases were identified by the Karunagappally Cancer Registry. Poisson regression analysis of grouped data, taking into account age and income, showed that oral cancer incidence was strongly related to daily frequency of tobacco chewing (P<0.001) and was increased 9.2-fold among women chewing tobacco 10 times or more a day. The risk increased with the duration of tobacco chewing during the first 20 years of tobacco chewing. Age at starting tobacco chewing was not significantly related to oral cancer risk. This is the first cohort study of oral cancer in relation to tobacco chewing among women
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