Military occupation and testicular germ cell tumour risk among US Air Force servicemen

Hristina Denic-Roberts, Katherine McGlynn, Jongeun Rhee, Celia Byrne, Michael Lang, Paul Vu, Mark Purdue, Jennifer Rusiecki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among active duty US military servicemen. Occupational risk factors may play a role in TGCT aetiology, although the evidence is inconclusive. The objective of our study was to investigate associations between military occupations and TGCT risk among US Air Force (USAF) servicemen. Methods This nested case-control study among active duty USAF servicemen obtained information on military occupations for 530 histologically confirmed TGCT cases diagnosed during 1990-2018 and 530 individually matched controls. We determined military occupations using Air Force Specialty Codes ascertained at two time points: at case diagnosis and at a time point on average 6 years earlier. We computed adjusted ORs and 95% CIs from conditional logistic regression models to evaluate associations between occupations and TGCT risk. Results The mean age at TGCT diagnosis was 30 years. Increased TGCT risk was observed for pilots (OR=2.84, 95% CI: 1.20-6.74) and servicemen with aircraft maintenance jobs (OR=1.85, 95% CI: 1.03-3.31) who held those jobs at both time points. Fighter pilots (n=18) and servicemen with firefighting jobs (n=18) at the time of case diagnosis had suggestively elevated TGCT odds (OR=2.73, 95% CI: 0.96-7.72 and OR=1.94, 95% CI: 0.72-5.20, respectively). Conclusions In this matched, nested case-control study of young active duty USAF servicemen, we found that pilots and men with aircraft maintenance jobs had elevated TGCT risk. Further research is needed to elucidate specific occupational exposures underlying these associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Men
  • Military Personnel
  • Occupational Health


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