Background: To investigate the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics (age, sex, tumor location, socioeconomic status) and potential predisposing factors (alcohol, tobacco, mobile phone use, severe head trauma) of cerebral gliomas in a defined area of Northwest Greece. Methods: The prospective study was conducted in patients with gliomas referred to all 7 hospitals of a study area with a population of 488,435 inhabitants, from June 1, 2005, to May 31, 2007. Incidence rates (IR) were calculated as new cases diagnosed among residents of the study area during the study period per 100,000 inhabitants. A case-control study was carried out in order to study the possible association of the risk of glioma with smoking, alcohol, use of mobile phone, and severe cranial trauma. Results: A total of 56 glioma incident cases were identified with IRs of glioma and glioblastoma (GBM) at 5.73/105/year and 3.69/105/year, respectively. A male to female ratio of 1.25 was obtained in the GBM group. IRs of glioma and GBM for both males and females were higher in the age group 60–79. The most frequent anatomic location was the frontal lobe. 46.5% of the patients originated from the low, 25% from the middle and 28.5% from the high socioeconomic class. There was no significant association between glioma and alcohol consumption, smoking and mobile phone use. A trend for a positive association between the risk of glioma and a history of severe cranial trauma was observed, but this association was not statistically significant. Conclusion: The estimated IR of glioma and GBM in this study was higher compared with data from other studies carried out on European, Asian and US populations. Further studies may be needed to assess the possible association of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors with the high occurrence of gliomas observed in this study.

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