OBJECTIVE: There is increasing evidence for a significant effect of processed meat (PM) intake on cancer risk. However, refined knowledge on how components of this heterogeneous food group are associated with cancer risk is still missing. Here, actual data on the intake of PM subcategories is given; within a food-based approach we considered preservation methods, cooking methods and nutrient content for stratification, in order to address most of the aetiologically relevant hypotheses. DESIGN AND SETTING: Standardised computerised 24-hour diet recall interviews were collected within the framework of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a prospective cohort study in 27 centres across 10 European countries. SUBJECTS: Subjects were 22,924 women and 13,031 men aged 35-74 years. RESULTS: Except for the so-called 'health-conscious' cohort in the UK, energy-adjusted total PM intake ranged between 11.1 and 47.9 g day(-1) in women and 18.8 and 88.5 g day(-1) in men. Ham, salami-type sausages and heated sausages contributed most to the overall PM intake. The intake of cured (addition of nitrate/nitrite) PM was highest in the German, Dutch and northern European EPIC centres, with up to 68.8 g day(-1) in men. The same was true for smoked PM (up to 51.8 g day(-1)). However, due to the different manufacturing practice, the highest average intake of NaNO2 through PM consumption was found for the Spanish centres (5.4 mg day(-1) in men) as compared with German and British centres. Spanish centres also showed the highest intake of NaCl-rich types of PM; most cholesterol- and iron-rich PM was consumed in central and northern European centres. Possibly hazardous cooking methods were more often used for PM preparation in central and northern European centres. CONCLUSIONS: We applied a food-based categorisation of PM that addresses aetiologically relevant mechanisms for cancer development and found distinct differences in dietary intake of these categories of PM across European cohorts. This predisposes EPIC to further investigate the role of PM in cancer aetiology.
Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), the authors examined the association of ethanol intake at recruitment (1,119 cases) and mean lifelong ethanol intake (887 cases) with lung cancer. Information on baseline and past alcohol consumption, lifetime tobacco smoking, diet, and the anthropometric characteristics of 478,590 participants was collected between 1992 and 2000. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Overall, neither ethanol intake at recruitment nor mean lifelong ethanol intake was significantly associated with lung cancer. However, moderate intake (5-14.9 g/day) at recruitment (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.63, 0.90) and moderate mean lifelong intake (HR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.97) were associated with a lower lung cancer risk in comparison with low consumption (0.1-4.9 g/day). Compared with low intake, a high (>/=60 g/day) mean lifelong ethanol intake tended to be related to a higher risk of lung cancer (HR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.93, 1.74), but high intake at recruitment was not. Although there was no overall association between ethanol intake and risk of lung cancer, the authors cannot rule out a lower risk for moderate consumption and a possibly increased risk for high lifelong consumption.
Previous studies suggest that obesity is related to increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC); however, only a few studies report on measures of central vs. peripheral adiposity. We examined the association between anthropometric measures, including waist and hip circumference and RCC risk among 348,550 men and women free of cancer at baseline from 8 countries of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). During 6.0 years of follow-up we identified 287 incident cases of RCC. Relative risks were calculated using Cox regression, stratified by age and study center and adjusted for smoking status, education, alcohol consumption, physical activity, menopausal status, and hormone replacement therapy use. Among women, an increased risk of RCC was conferred by body weight (relative risk [RR] in highest vs. lowest quintile = 2.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16-3.90; p-trend = 0.003), body mass index (BMI) (RR = 2.25; 95% CI = 1.14-4.44; p-trend = 0.009), and waist (RR = 1.67; 95% CI = 0.94-2.98; p-trend = 0.003) and hip circumference (RR = 2.30; 95% CI = 1.22-4.34; p-trend = 0.01); however, waist and hip circumference were no longer significant after controlling for body weight. Among men, hip circumference (RR = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.20-0.98; p-trend = 0.03) was related significantly to decreased RCC risk only after accounting for body weight. Height was not related significantly to RCC risk. Our findings suggest that obesity is related to increased risk of RCC irrespective of fat distribution among women, whereas low hip circumference is related to increased RCC risk among men. Our data give further credence to public health efforts aiming to reduce the prevalence of obesity to prevent RCC, in addition to other chronic diseases.
BACKGROUND: Body weight and body mass index (BMI) are positively related to risk of colon cancer in men, whereas weak or no associations exist in women. This discrepancy may be related to differences in fat distribution between sexes or to the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women. METHODS: We used multivariable adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between anthropometric measures and risks of colon and rectal cancer among 368 277 men and women who were free of cancer at baseline from nine countries of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: During 6.1 years of follow-up, we identified 984 and 586 patients with colon and rectal cancer, respectively. Body weight and BMI were statistically significantly associated with colon cancer risk in men (highest versus lowest quintile of BMI, relative risk [RR] = 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12 to 2.15; P(trend) = .006) but not in women. In contrast, comparisons of the highest to the lowest quintile showed that several anthropometric measures, including waist circumference (men, RR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.93; P(trend) = .001; women, RR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.08 to 2.03; P(trend) = .008), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR; men, RR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.06 to 2.15; P(trend) = .006; women, RR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.12 to 2.05; P(trend) = .002), and height (men, RR = 1.40, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.98; P(trend) = .04; women, RR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.30 to 2.46; P(trend)<.001) were related to colon cancer risk in both sexes. The estimated absolute risk of developing colon cancer within 5 years was 203 and 131 cases per 100,000 men and 129 and 86 cases per 100,000 women in the highest and lowest quintiles of WHR, respectively. Upon further stratification, no association of waist circumference and WHR with risk of colon cancer was observed among postmenopausal women who used HRT. None of the anthropometric measures was statistically significantly related to rectal cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Waist circumference and WHR, indicators of abdominal obesity, were strongly associated with colon cancer risk in men and women in this population. The association of abdominal obesity with colon cancer risk may vary depending on HRT use in postmenopausal women; however, these findings require confirmation in future studies.
The risk of gastric cancer (GC) associated with dietary intake of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and endogenous formation of nitroso compounds (NOCs) was investigated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The study included 521,457 individuals and 314 incident cases of GC that had occurred after 6.6 average years of follow-up. An index of endogenous NOC (ENOC) formation was estimated using data of the iron content from meat intake and faecal apparent total NOC formation according to previous published studies. Antibodies to Helicobacter pylori and vitamin C levels were measured in a sub-sample of cases and matched controls included in a nested case-control within the cohort. Exposure to NDMA was < 1 microg on average compared with 93 mug on average from ENOC. There was no association between NDMA intake and GC risk (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.7-1.43). ENOC was significantly associated with non-cardia cancer risk (HR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.14-1.78 for an increase of 40 microg/day) but not with cardia cancer (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.69-1.33). Although the number of not infected cases is low, our data suggest a possible interaction between ENOC and H.pylori infection (P for interaction = 0.09). Moreover, we observed an interaction between plasma vitamin C and ENOC (P < 0.02). ENOC formation may account for our previously reported association between red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk.
Gram, Inger Torhild; Norat, Teresa; Rinaldi, Sabina; Dossus, Laure; Lukanova, Annekatrin; Téhard, B; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Gils, C H van; Noord, P A H van; Peeters, Petra H M; et al. (2006-11-01)
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) with serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and its binding protein (IGFBP)-3. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study on 2139 women participating in a case-control study on breast cancer and endogenous hormones. Data on lifestyle and reproductive factors were collected by means of questionnaires. Body height, weight, waist and hip circumferences were measured. Serum levels of IGF-I and insulin-like binding protein (IGFBP)-3 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Adjusted mean levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 across quintiles of BMI, waist circumference, and WHR were calculated by linear regression. Results were adjusted for potential confounders associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3. RESULTS: Adjusted mean serum IGF-I values were lower in women with BMI<22.5 kg/m(2) or BMI>29.2 kg/m(2) compared to women with BMI within this range (P(heterogeneity)<0.0001, P(trend)=0.35). Insulin-like growth factor-I was not related to WHR after adjustment for BMI. IGF-binding protein-3 was linearly positively related to waist and WHR after mutual adjustment. The molar ratio IGF-I/IGFBP-3 had a non-linear relation with BMI and a linear inverse relationship with WHR (P (trend)=0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm the nonlinear relationship of circulating IGF-I to total adiposity in women. Serum IGFBP-3 was positively related to central adiposity. These suggest that bioavailable IGF-I levels could be lower in obese compared to non-obese women and inversely related to central adiposity.
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) stimulates cell proliferation and can enhance the development of tumours in different organs. Epidemiological studies have shown that an elevated level of circulating IGF-I is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, as well as of other cancers. Most of circulating IGF-I is bound to an acid-labile subunit and to one of six insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs), among which the most important are IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-1. Polymorphisms of the IGF1 gene and of genes encoding for the major IGF-I carriers may predict circulating levels of IGF-I and have an impact on cancer risk. We tested this hypothesis with a case-control study of 807 breast cancer patients and 1588 matched control subjects, nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. We genotyped 23 common single nucleotide polymorphisms in IGF1, IGFBP1, IGFBP3 and IGFALS, and measured serum levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in samples of cases and controls. We found a weak but significant association of polymorphisms at the 5' end of the IGF1 gene with breast cancer risk, particularly among women younger than 55 years, and a strong association of polymorphisms located in the 5' end of IGFBP3 with circulating levels of IGFBP-3, which confirms previous findings. Common genetic variation in these candidate genes does not play a major role in altering breast cancer risk in Caucasians.
Rinaldi, Sabina; Key, Timothy J; Peeters, Petra H M; Lahmann, Petra H; Lukanova, Annekatrin; Dossus, Laure; Biessy, Carine; Vineis, Paolo; Sacerdote, Carlotta; Berrino, Franco; et al. (2006-06-01)
In a large case-control study on breast cancer risk and serum hormone concentrations, nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, we examined to what extent the relationship of excess body weight with breast cancer risk may be explained by changes in sex steroids. Height, weight, waist and hip circumferences, and serum measurements of testosterone [T], androstenedione [Delta4], dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate [DHEAS], estradiol [E2], estrone [E1] and sex-hormone binding globulin [SHBG] were available for 613 breast cancer cases, and 1,139 matched controls, who were all menopausal at the time of blood donation. Free T [fT] and free E2 [fE2] were calculated using mass action equations. Breast cancer risk was related to body mass index (BMI) (RR = 1.11 [0.99-1.25], per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI), and waist (RR = 1.12 [1.02-1.24], per 10 cm increase) and hip circumferences (RR = 1.14 [1.02-1.27], per 10 cm increase). The increase in breast cancer risk associated with adiposity was substantially reduced after adjustment for any estrogens, especially for fE2 (from 1.11 [0.99-1.25] to 0.99 [0.87-1.12], from 1.12 [1.02-1.24] to 1.02 [0.92-1.14] and from 1.14 [1.02-1.27] to 1.05 [0.93-1.18] for BMI, waist and hip circumferences, respectively). A modest attenuation in excess risk was observed after adjustment for fT, but the remaining androgens had little effect on the association of body adiposity with breast cancer. Our data indicate that the relationship of adiposity with breast cancer in postmenopausal women could be partially explained by the increases in endogenous estrogens, and by a decrease in levels of SHBG.
González, Carlos Alberto; Pera, Guillem; Agudo, Antonio; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Ceroti, Marco; Boeing, Heiner; Schulz, Mandy; Giudice, Giuseppe del; Plebani, Mario; Carneiro, Fátima; et al. (2006-05-15)
It is considered that fruit and vegetable (F&V) protect against oesophagus and gastric cancer (GC). However, 2 recent meta-analyses suggest that the strength of association on GC seems to be weaker for vegetables than for fruit and weaker in cohort than in case-control studies. No evidence exists from cohort studies about adenocarcinoma of oesophagus (ACO). In 521,457 men and women participating in the EPIC cohort in 10 European countries, information of diet and lifestyle was collected at baseline. After an average of 6.5 years of follow-up, a total of 330 GC and 65 ACO, confirmed and classified by a panel of pathologists, was used for the analysis. We examined the relation between F&V intake and GC and ACO. A calibration study in a sub-sample was used to control diet measurement errors. In a sub-sample of cases and a random sample of controls, antibodies against Helicobacter pylori (Hp) were measured and interactions with F&V were examined in a nested case-control study. We observed no association with total vegetable intake or specific groups of vegetables and GC risk, except for the intestinal type, where a negative association is possible regarding total vegetable (calibrated HR 0.66; 95% CI 0.35-1.22 per 100 g increase) and onion and garlic intake (calibrated HR 0.70; 95% CI 0.38-1.29 per 10 g increase). No evidence of association between fresh fruit intake and GC risk was observed. We found a negative but non significant association between citrus fruit intake and the cardia site (calibrated HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.47-1.22 per 100 g increase) while no association was observed with the non-cardia site. Regarding ACO, we found a non significant negative association for vegetable intake and for citrus intake (calibrated HRs 0.72; 95% CI 0.32-1.64 and 0.77; 95% CI 0.46-1.28 per 100 and 50 g increase, respectively). It seems that Hp infection does not modify the effect of F&V intake. Our study supports a possible protective role of vegetable intake in the intestinal type of GC and the ACO. Citrus fruit consumption may have a role in the protection against cardia GC and ACO.
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