A monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) may develop into a multiple myeloma or a correlated lymphoproliferative malignancy with a progress rate of 1% per year. The immune status, occupational-environmental risk factors, and hereditary factors may influence the risk of developing MGUS. We investigated the prevalence of MGUS in 77 refinery waste workers. They were all males, averagely aged 36, with a mean working history of 18.5 years and working in the dump for about 4.2 years. After analyzing the results of standard serum electrophoresis migrations, 16% of cases (n
= 12) showed levels beyond the normal ranges. In all 12 samples we observed an increase of gamma component: 67%, IgG; 17%, IgM; 8%, IgA; 8%, oligoclonal. Workers were exposed to hazardous refinery waste. After the biological monitoring of urine samples for metals and t,t-muconic acid, no extra-range values were observed. The multivariate analysis shows, however, that cigarette smoking and residence near industrial sites are significantly (p
< 0.001) associated with a high risk of MGUS development; while no association was found with occupational exposure. Additional attention might be paid in particular to these conditions in epidemiological studies and further larger, prospective, population-based researches appear warranted to evaluate the strength of any positive association.
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