OBJECTIVES: To describe and compare the consumption of dairy products in cohorts included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). METHODS: Data from single 24-hour dietary recall interviews collected through a highly standardised computer-based program (EPIC-SOFT) in 27 redefined centres in 10 European countries between 1995 and 2000. From a total random sample of 36 900, 22 924 women and 13 031 men were selected after exclusion of subjects under 35 and over 74 years of age. RESULTS: A high total consumption of dairy products was reported in most of the centres in Spain and in the UK cohort sampled from the general population, as well as in the Dutch, Swedish and Danish centres. A somewhat low consumption was reported in the Greek centre and in some of the Italian centres (Ragusa and Turin). In all centres and for both sexes, milk constituted the dairy sub-group with the largest proportion (in grams) of total dairy consumption, followed by yoghurt and other fermented milk products, and cheese. Still, there was a wide range in the contributions of the different dairy sub-groups between centres. The Spanish and Nordic centres generally reported a high consumption of milk, the Swedish and Dutch centres reported a high consumption of yoghurt and other fermented milk products, whereas the highest consumption of cheese was reported in the French centres. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative disparities in dairy product consumption among the EPIC centres. This offers a sound starting point for analyses of associations between dairy intake and chronic diseases such as cancer.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between consumption of certain foods and macronutrients and urinary glucose excretion, which is a predictor of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study, Denmark, 1993-97. SUBJECTS: Participants in the Danish study 'Diet, Cancer and Health'. After exclusion of persons with postprandial urine samples and persons with diabetes or other diseases potentially resulting in glycosuria, the study population included 14 743 men and 18 064 women aged 50-64 y. We identified 183 men and 43 women with glucose in their urine. RESULTS: Consumption of poultry was negatively associated with glycosuria in both men (odds ratio, OR=0.87; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI=0.77-0.98) and women (OR=0.69; 0.48-1.00). Fiber from fruit showed a weak negative association with glycosuria in both men (0. 95; 0.90-1.01) and women (0.89; 0.78-1.02), whereas a significant negative association with total fiber (0.68; 0.51-0.91) and fiber from vegetables (0.94; 0.88-0.99) was seen in men. Intake of fish tended to reduce the risk of glycosuria in women only (0.80; 0.63-1. 02), whereas ingestion of milk products increased their risk significantly (1.15; 1.06-1.24). CONCLUSION: Although statistical significance and consistency in the two sexes were not achieved for all end-points, the study indicates a protective effect of dietary products like poultry, fruit and cereals against glycosuria and suggests a promoting effect of milk. SPONSORSHIP: The Danish National Board of Health and the Danish Cancer Society.
Alkylresorcinols (AR), a group of phenolic lipids present in the outer parts of wheat and rye grain kernels, have been suggested as biomarkers of whole-grain wheat and rye intake. In this study, we investigated potential determinants of plasma AR concentration in a free-living population.
Non-fasting samples from post-menopausal women enrolled in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study (n = 360) were selected. Diet was assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) and the association between food items likely to contain AR and relevant non-dietary factors were studied by analysis of covariance models.
The median AR concentration was 78 nmol/l (interquartile range = 106.9 nmol/l). Intake of rye bread, identified as the main determinant, was associated with 87% higher plasma total AR concentration per 100 g of bread (95% confidence interval = 46-139%). About 8-12% of the total variation (depending on the AR homologue) in plasma AR concentration was explained by the selected dietary variables. At a nutrient level, total dietary fiber and cereal fiber were significantly associated with plasma total AR concentration (P = 0.05), but only ˜2% of the total plasma AR concentration was explained by the dietary fiber or cereal fiber intake.
In the studied population, AR plasma concentration was mainly affected by rye bread intake among investigated determinants.
The role of diet in the aetiology of renal cell carcinoma was investigated in a population-based case-control study in Denmark. Cases were 20-79 years old, with a histologically verified diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Controls were sampled from the general population and were frequency-matched on age and sex. A total of 351 cases (73% of the eligible) and 340 controls (68% of the eligible) were included in the study. Dietary information was obtained in a self-administered food frequency questionnaire and the information was confirmed in a subsequent interview performed by trained interviewers who also elicited information on other suspected risk factors such as smoking, occupation, medical history, education and reproductive history. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratios, and, both frequency of consumption of various food stuffs and computed nutrients were examined. A positive association was observed between risk of renal cell carcinoma and total energy intake (odds ratio, OR, for highest quartile compared to lowest: 1.7 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.0-3.0) for men, and 3.5 (95% CI 1.6-6.5) for women), fat intake (OR for highest quartile compared to lowest: 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.5) for men, and 3.3 (95% CI 1.6-6.9) for women). For women, an effect was also seen for intake of carbohydrates (OR for highest quartile compared to lowest: 3.2 (95% CI 1.5-6.8), while no protective effect was seen for vegetables or fruit. Dairy products may be associated with risk of renal cell cancer (OR for women using thickly spread butter compared to thinly spread: 11.4 (95% CI 2.8-45), OR for women who drank more than one glass of milk with 3.5% fat content compared to never drink milk: 3.7 (95% CI 1.2-11). As expected, total energy intake, intake of fat, protein and carbohydrates were closely correlated making it difficult to identify one of the energy sources as more closely associated with risk of renal cell cancer than the other. Several energy sources have been identified as possible risk factors for renal cell carcinoma. It is possible that a high energy intake as such rather than the individual sources are responsible for the increased risk. Furthermore, dairy fats may be associated with renal cell carcinoma risk. The observed associations appeared stronger in women, and did not explain the association with obesity and low socio-economic status previously found in Denmark.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the diversity in dietary patterns existing across centres/regions participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). DESIGN AND SETTING: Single 24-hour dietary recall measurements were obtained by means of standardised face-to-face interviews using the EPIC-SOFT software. These have been used to present a graphic multi-dimensional comparison of the adjusted mean consumption of 22 food groups. SUBJECTS: In total, 35 955 men and women, aged 35-74 years, participating in the EPIC nested calibration study. RESULTS: Although wide differences were observed across centres, the countries participating in EPIC are characterised by specific dietary patterns. Overall, Italy and Greece have a dietary pattern characterised by plant foods (except potatoes) and a lower consumption of animal and processed foods, compared with the other EPIC countries. France and particularly Spain have more heterogeneous dietary patterns, with a relatively high consumption of both plant foods and animal products. Apart from characteristics specific to vegetarian groups, the UK 'health-conscious' group shares with the UK general population a relatively high consumption of tea, sauces, cakes, soft drinks (women), margarine and butter. In contrast, the diet in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK general population is relatively high in potatoes and animal, processed and sweetened/refined foods, with proportions varying across countries/centres. In these countries, consumption of vegetables and fruit is similar to, or below, the overall EPIC means, and is low for legumes and vegetable oils. Overall, dietary patterns were similar for men and women, although there were large gender differences for certain food groups. CONCLUSIONS: There are considerable differences in food group consumption and dietary patterns among the EPIC study populations. This large heterogeneity should be an advantage when investigating the relationship between diet and cancer and formulating new aetiological hypotheses related to dietary patterns and disease.
General practitioners (GPs) in Denmark (n = 374) answered a questionnaire on attitudes toward including information on diet and sex in the prevention of coronary artery disease, cancers, osteoporosis, and weight problems. Risk factors for disease were ranked as follows: smoking, alcohol, stress, diet, physical exercise, heredity, and hygiene. Patients' lack of motivation, insufficient time for each patient, and inadequate knowledge about nutrition were listed by GPs as barriers to dietary counseling. GPs stated that the sex of the patient was important only for counseling on osteoporosis. Lack of time and insufficient knowledge were perceived as barriers to including sex-specific issues in prevention. One-half of the GPs were questioned about the issue of prevention on the basis of female case stories and the other half on the basis of male case stories with identical wording. Responses to the case stories indicated that GPs would give dietary guidance and recommend loss of weight to slightly overweight male patients to a much greater degree than to overweight female patients for prevention of coronary artery disease, give dietary counseling and recommend loss of weight and exercise to female patients more than to male patients for prevention of cancers, recommend a supplement of calcium and vitamin D for prevention of osteoporosis to female patients, and recommend weight gain and discuss psychosocial issues more with underweight female patients than with underweight male patients. Female GPs included measures of prevention such as dietary counseling, exercise prescription, dietary supplement prescription, and discussion of psychosocial issues to a greater extent than did male GPs.
A working group was established to evaluate the need for iodine enrichment in Denmark. Judged from studies of urinary iodine excretion and one dietary survey the intake of iodine in Denmark is low compared with recommended intakes. The occurrence of non-toxic goitre is relatively high; between 9 and 13% in elderly women. Furthermore, a high occurrence of toxic goitre has been seen in the western part of Denmark. On the other hand, an increased or a high intake of iodine may lead to hyperthyroidism and thyroiditis. The working group concluded that an increase in iodine intake in the Danish population is needed and the best way to achieve this is to iodize all salt. To avoid side effects of a sudden large increase in iodine intake the initial amount of iodine in salt will only be 2 ppm.
We have evaluated the reproducibility and relative validity of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) used in a prospective study of risk factors for cervical neoplasia. The questionnaire is a modified version of one developed and evaluated in a middle-aged Danish population. In the present study, 122 women from the general population of Copenhagen, aged 20-29 years, completed the FFQ twice at a 1-year interval, and provided three 4-day dietary records during the intervening year. The mean nutrient intakes calculated from the first and second questionnaire were similar and, for most nutrients, close to those obtained from the dietary records. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the mean nutrient intakes from the two questionnaires ranged from 0.53 (95% CI, 0.39-0.65) for vitamin E to 0.76 (95% CI, 0.67-0.83) for vitamin B12 (median, 0.67 [95% CI, 0.56-0.76]). In comparisons between the second FFQ and the dietary records, the correlations ranged from 0.24 (95% CI, 0.07-0.40) for vitamin D to 0.63 (95% CI, 0.51-0.73) for sucrose (median, 0.42 [95% CI, 0.26-0.561). The correlations between FFQ and dietary records were generally higher after adjustment for energy intake (median, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.39-0.65]) and within-person variability (median, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.52-0.73]). On average, 71% of the women were classified in the same (+/- 1) quintile in the second FFQ and the dietary records. An average of 3.8% of the women were grossly misclassified into the highest and lowest quintiles by the dietary records. The relative validity of the FFQ in this population was similar to that reported earlier. It is concluded that the FFQ is reproducible and provides a useful scale for categorizing individuals according to their intake of energy and nutrients.
Dietary risk factors for renal cell cancer were investigated in a population based case-control study of incident cases. A total of 351 cases and 340 controls matched for age and sex were interviewed about dietary habits as well as exposure to other known or suspected risk factors. An association was found between risk of renal cell cancer and energy intake, especially fats. There was no protective effect of fruits but a weak protective effect of cruceferous vegetables. The association with diet was present after adjusting for the effect of cigarette smoking, socioeconomic status and body mass index, all of which have been identified as risk factors for renal cell cancer.