Editorial: The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study estimates 1.6 % of the deaths that occurred in 2019 to be caused by urological (including prostate, bladder, kidney, and testicular) cancers. On the other hand, GBD attributes 13.2 % of non-communicable deaths in 2019 to air pollution (1). The impact of air pollution on health outcomes such as cancers and cardiovascular incidence and mortality has been the topic of various studies (2, 3). However, the studied cancers mainly include lung (4), child (5), and breast (6). Despite outdoor air pollution being recognized as a human carcinogen (7), the increased risk of urological cancers due to outdoor air pollution has majorly been reported in occupational studies (8, 9). Recently, some studies have been performed on urological cancers in the general population (10-12). Though, the significantly lower levels of air pollution in the general environments than the occupational ones have led to the scarcity of information on the air pollution-urological cancers association, in the general population.
A recent systematic review of the air pollution impact on the bladder, kidney, and urinary tract indicates that the majority of the investigations report positive associations (though majorly non-significant) between air pollution and urological cancers (13). However, this review mentions not addressing the confounders as the common drawback of the studies. Almost half of the studies reviewed in this article have been cohort (9 out of 20), and the insufficient follow-up has been their shared shortcoming.
Conclusion: There is a need for studies with extensive follow-up periods while including a larger set of confounding variables.
AKH wrote, reviewed, and edit the manuscript.
Special thanks to the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest.
There is no funding
GBD Global Burden of Disease