Metabolomics is now widely used to characterize metabolic phenotypes associated with lifestyle risk factors such as obesity. The objective of the present study was to explore the associations of body mass index (BMI) with 145 metabolites measured in blood samples in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Metabolites were measured in blood from 392 men from the Oxford (UK) cohort (EPIC-Oxford) and in 327 control subjects who were part of a nested case-control study on hepatobiliary carcinomas (EPIC-Hepatobiliary). Measured metabolites included amino acids, acylcarnitines, hexoses, biogenic amines, phosphatidylcholines, and sphingomyelins. Linear regression models controlled for potential confounders and multiple testing were run to evaluate the associations of metabolite concentrations with BMI. 40 and 45 individual metabolites showed significant differences according to BMI variations, in the EPIC-Oxford and EPIC-Hepatobiliary subcohorts, respectively. Twenty two individual metabolites (kynurenine, one sphingomyelin, glutamate and 19 phosphatidylcholines) were associated with BMI in both subcohorts. The present findings provide additional knowledge on blood metabolic signatures of BMI in European adults, which may help identify mechanisms mediating the relationship of BMI with obesity-related diseases.
Dimitrakopoulou, Vasiliki I; Travis, Ruth C; Shui, Irene M; Mondul, Alison; Albanes, Demetrius; Virtamo, Jarmo; Agudo, Antonio; Boeing, Heiner; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Gunter, Marc J; et al. (2017-03-15)
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with prostate cancer. However, information on the mechanistic basis for some associations is limited. Recent research has been directed towards the potential association of vitamin D concentrations and prostate cancer, but little is known about whether the aforementioned genetic associations are modified by vitamin D. We investigated the associations of 46 GWAS-identified SNPs, circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and prostate cancer (3,811 cases, 511 of whom died from the disease, compared with 2,980 controls-from 5 cohort studies that recruited participants over several periods beginning in the 1980s). We used logistic regression models with data from the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) to evaluate interactions on the multiplicative and additive scales. After allowing for multiple testing, none of the SNPs examined was significantly associated with 25(OH)D concentration, and the SNP-prostate cancer associations did not differ by these concentrations. A statistically significant interaction was observed for each of 2 SNPs in the 8q24 region (rs620861 and rs16902094), 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer on both multiplicative and additive scales (P ≤ 0.001). We did not find strong evidence that associations between GWAS-identified SNPs and prostate cancer are modified by circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D. The intriguing interactions between rs620861 and rs16902094, 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer warrant replication.
Duell, Eric J; Lujan-Barroso, Leila; Sala, Núria; Deitz McElyea, Samantha; Overvad, Kim; Tjonneland, Anne; Olsen, Anja; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Busund, Lill-Tove; Moi, Line; et al. (2017-09-01)
Noninvasive biomarkers for early pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) diagnosis and disease risk stratification are greatly needed. We conducted a nested case-control study within the Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort to evaluate prediagnostic microRNAs (miRs) as biomarkers of subsequent PDAC risk. A panel of eight miRs (miR-10a, -10b, -21-3p, -21-5p, -30c, -106b, -155 and -212) based on previous evidence from our group was evaluated in 225 microscopically confirmed PDAC cases and 225 controls matched on center, sex, fasting status and age/date/time of blood collection. MiR levels in prediagnostic plasma samples were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Logistic regression was used to model levels and PDAC risk, adjusting for covariates and to estimate area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC). Plasma miR-10b, -21-5p, -30c and -106b levels were significantly higher in cases diagnosed within 2 years of blood collection compared to matched controls (all p-values <0.04). Based on adjusted logistic regression models, levels for six miRs (miR-10a, -10b, -21-5p, -30c, -155 and -212) overall, and for four miRs (-10a, -10b, -21-5p and -30c) at shorter follow-up time between blood collection and diagnosis (≤5 yr, ≤2 yr), were statistically significantly associated with risk. A score based on the panel showed a linear dose-response trend with risk (p-value = 0.0006). For shorter follow-up (≤5 yr), AUC for the score was 0.73, and for individual miRs ranged from 0.73 (miR-212) to 0.79 (miR-21-5p).
Jakszyn, Paula; Fonseca-Nunes, Ana; Lujan-Barroso, Leila; Aranda, Núria; Tous, Mónica; Arija, Victoria; Cross, Amanda; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H B As; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Kühn, Tilman; et al. (2017-09-01)
Hepcidin is the main regulator of iron homeostasis and dysregulation of proteins involved in iron metabolism has been associated with tumorogenesis. However, to date, no epidemiological study has researched the association between hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk. To further investigate the relationship between hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk, we conducted a nested case-control study (EURGAST) within the multicentric European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. The study included 456 primary incident gastric adenocarcinoma cases and 900 matched controls that occurred during an average of 11 years of follow-up. We measured serum levels of hepcidin-25, iron, ferritin, transferrin and C-reactive protein. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of gastric cancer by hepcidin levels were estimated from multivariable conditional logistic regression models. Mediation effect of the ferritin levels on the hepcidin-gastric cancer pathway was also evaluated. After adjusting for relevant confounders, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between gastric cancer and hepcidin levels (OR 5 ng/l = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.93-0.99). No differences were found by tumor localization or histological type. In mediation analysis, we found that the direct effect of hepcidin only represents a nonsignificant 38% (95% CI: -69%, 91%). In summary, these data suggest that the inverse association of hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk was mostly accounted by ferritin levels. Further investigation including repeated measures of hepcidin is needed to clarify their role in gastric carcinogenesis.
Epidemiological studies suggest that haem iron, which is found predominantly in red meat and increases endogenous formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds, may be positively associated with lung cancer. The objective was to examine the relationship between haem iron intake and lung cancer risk using detailed smoking history data and serum cotinine to control for potential confounding.
Dam, Veerle; van der Schouw, Yvonne T; Onland-Moret, N Charlotte; Groenwold, Rolf H H; Peters, Sanne A E; Burgess, Stephen; Wood, Angela M; Chirlaque, Maria-Dolores; Moons, Karel G M; Oliver-Williams, Clare; et al. (2019-02-22)
Earlier age at menopause has been associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but the shape of association and role of established cardiovascular risk factors remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the associations between menopausal characteristics and CHD risk; the shape of the association between age at menopause and CHD risk; and the extent to which these associations are explained by established cardiovascular risk factors. We used data from EPIC-CVD, a case-cohort study, which includes data from 23 centres from 10 European countries. We included only women, of whom 10 880 comprise the randomly selected sub-cohort, supplemented with 4522 cases outside the sub-cohort. We conducted Prentice-weighted Cox proportional hazards regressions with age as the underlying time scale, stratified by country and adjusted for relevant confounders. After confounder and intermediate adjustment, post-menopausal women were not at higher CHD risk compared with pre-menopausal women. Among post-menopausal women, earlier menopause was linearly associated with higher CHD risk [HRconfounder and intermediate adjusted per-year decrease = 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-1.03, p = 0.001]. Women with a surgical menopause were at higher risk of CHD compared with those with natural menopause (HRconfounder-adjusted = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.10-1.42, p < 0.001), but this attenuated after additional adjustment for age at menopause and intermediates (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.96-1.29, p = 0.15). A proportion of the association was explained by cardiovascular risk factors. Earlier and surgical menopause were associated with higher CHD risk. These associations could partially be explained by differences in conventional cardiovascular risk factors. These women might benefit from close monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors and disease.
Baumeister, Sebastian E; Schlesinger, Sabrina; Aleksandrova, Krasimira; Jochem, Carmen; Jenab, Mazda; Gunter, Marc J; Overvad, Kim; Tjønneland, Anne; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Carbonnel, Franck; et al. (2018-12-22)
Evidence on the association between physical activity and risk of hepatobiliary cancers is inconclusive. We examined this association in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort (EPIC). We identified 275 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases, 93 intrahepatic bile duct cancers (IHBCs), and 164 non-gallbladder extrahepatic bile duct cancers (NGBCs) among 467,336 EPIC participants (median follow-up 14.9 years). We estimated cause-specific hazard ratios (HRs) for total physical activity and vigorous physical activity and performed mediation analysis and secondary analyses to assess robustness to confounding (e.g. due to hepatitis virus infection). In the EPIC cohort, the multivariable-adjusted HR of HCC was 0.55 (95% CI 0.38-0.80) comparing active and inactive individuals. Regarding vigorous physical activity, for those reporting >2 hours/week compared to those with no vigorous activity, the HR for HCC was 0.50 (95% CI 0.33-0.76). Estimates were similar in sensitivity analyses for confounding. Total and vigorous physical activity were unrelated to IHBC and NGBC. In mediation analysis, waist circumference explained about 40% and body mass index 30% of the overall association of total physical activity and HCC. These findings suggest an inverse association between physical activity and risk of HCC, which is potentially mediated by obesity.
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