OBJECTIVE: Smoking serves different functions for men and women. Thus, we wanted to investigate the association between smoking behaviour and intakes of selected healthy foods in men and women with special focus on differences and similarities between the two genders. DESIGN: In 1993-1997, a random sample of 80 996 men and 79 729 women aged 50-64 y was invited to participate in the study 'Diet, Cancer and Health'. In all, 27 179 men and 29 876 women attended a health examination and completed a 192-item food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The association between smoking status and low, median and high intakes of selected foods was examined among 25 821 men and 28 596 women. SETTING: The greater Copenhagen and Aarhus area, Denmark. RESULTS: For both men and women, smoking status group was associated with diet, such that increasing level of smoking status ranging from never smokers over ex-smokers to currently heavy smokers was associated with a lower intake of the healthy foods: fresh fruit, cooked vegetables, raw vegetables/salad, and olive oil. For wine, increasing level of smoking status category was associated with a higher fraction of abstainers and heavy drinkers. The difference between the extreme smoking status categories was larger than the difference between men and women within smoking status categories such that never smoking men in general had a higher intake of healthy foods than heavy smoking women. Correction for age, educational level, and body mass index (BMI) did not affect the results. CONCLUSION: In this middle-aged population, intake of healthy foods were associated with smoking behaviour with a dose-response type of relationship. The overall pattern was similar for men and women.
OBJECTIVE: There is consistent evidence that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. It has been suggested that the increased risk associated with alcohol intake may be reduced by adequate intake of folate. Since many women consume alcohol, detection of a risk-reducing mechanism would have major public health implications. DESIGN: We therefore evaluated the possible interaction between alcohol and folate in a paired nested case-control study among postmenopausal women. SETTING: A total of 24 697 postmenopausal women were included in the 'Diet, Cancer and Health' follow-up study between December 1993 and May 1997. The cohort was followed until December 2000. The study included 388 cases of breast cancer and 388 randomly selected controls were used to estimate the breast cancer incidence rate ratio (IRR) in conditional logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: A previously established association between alcohol intake and risk of breast cancer was present mainly among women with low folate intake. An IRR of 1.19 (95% CI: 0.99-1.42) per 10 g average daily alcohol intake was found for women with a daily folate intake below 300 mug, while among women with a folate intake higher than 350 mug, we could not show an association between the alcohol intake and the breast cancer incidence rate (e.g. folate intake >400 mug; IRR of 1.01 (95% CI: 0.85-1.20)). CONCLUSION: The findings support the evidence that adequate folate intake may attenuate the risk of breast cancer associated with high alcohol intake. SPONSORSHIP: The Danish Cancer Society.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether waist and hip circumferences, in addition to body mass index (BMI), are related to all-cause mortality. We studied these associations and tested the usefulness of the waist-to-hip ratio for mortality prediction. DESIGN: A Danish prospective cohort study with data collected between 1993 and 1997. SUBJECTS: A total of 27 179 men and 29 875 women born in Denmark and aged 50-64 years were followed for a median of 6.8 years. MEASUREMENTS: BMI, waist and hip circumferences at baseline. RESULTS: The associations between hip circumference and all-cause mortality were inverse for both men and women, but only after adjustment for waist circumference, or BMI, or both. The mortality rate ratios of mutually adjusted waist and hip circumferences were 0.63 (95% CI: 0.56, 0.71), and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.79) times higher per 10% larger hip circumference in men and women, respectively, and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.34, 1.57) and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.31) times higher per 10% larger waist circumference. The adequacy of the waist-to-hip ratio as a substitute for separate measurements of waist and hip circumferences depended on which other variables the analysis was adjusted for, indicating that the waist-to-hip ratio should be used with precaution. CONCLUSION: When mutually adjusted, waist and hip circumferences show opposite associations with all-cause mortality, probably due to different effects of adipose tissue in the abdominal and gluteofemoral regions. The waist-to-hip ratio cannot always capture these relations adequately.
OBJECTIVE: Waist circumference is directly related to all-cause mortality when adjusted for body mass index (BMI). Body fat and fat-free body mass, when mutually adjusted, show with increasing values an increasing and decreasing relation to all-cause mortality. We investigated the association of waist circumference and body composition (body fat and fat-free mass), mutually adjusted, to all-cause mortality. DESIGN: A Danish prospective cohort study with a median follow-up period of 5.8 y. SUBJECTS: In all, 27 178 men and 29 875 women, born in Denmark, aged 50-64 y, and without diagnosis of cancer at the time of invitation. MEASUREMENTS: Waist circumference and body composition estimated from impedance measurements. Cox's regression models were used to estimate the mortality rate ratios (RR). RESULTS: Waist circumference was strongly associated with all-cause mortality after adjustment for body composition; the mortality RR was 1.36 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.22-1.52) times higher per 10% larger waist circumference among men and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.17-1.44) times higher among women. Adjustment for waist circumference eliminated the association between high values of the body fat mass index (BFMI) and all-cause mortality. The association between fat-free mass index (FFMI) and mortality remained unaltered. CONCLUSION: Waist circumference accounted for the mortality risk associated with excess body fat and not fat-free mass. Waist circumference remained strongly and directly associated with all-cause mortality when adjusted for total body fat in middle-aged men and women, suggesting that the increased mortality risk related to excess body fat is mainly due to abdominal adiposity.