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.
OBJECTIVE: To describe drinking patterns among individuals who prefer drinking wine, beer or spirits. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study obtaining detailed information on intake of wine, beer and spirits and on frequency of alcohol intake. Adjustment for gender, age, smoking habits, educational attainment and body mass index. SETTING: Denmark. SUBJECTS: 27, 151 men and 29, 819 women, randomly selected from Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Drinking pattern-steady or binge drinking. RESULTS: A vast majority (71%) of both men and women preferred wine or beer. At all levels of total alcohol intake, beer drinkers were most likely to be frequent drinkers. Thus, light drinkers of beer had an odds ratio for being frequent drinkers of 1.97 (95% confidence limits 1.50-2.58) as compared to light drinkers of wine (total alcohol intake 3-30 drinks per month), while people who preferred beer had an odds ratio of 1. 29 (1.19-1.40) compared with wine drinkers in the moderate drinking category (31-134 drinks per month). There were no significant differences in total alcohol intake between individuals preferring different alcoholic beverages. CONCLUSION: If binge drinking is less healthy than steady drinking, the relation between wine intake and coronary heart disease mortality could be subject to negative confounding, since beer drinkers seem to have the most sensible drinking pattern. SPONSORSHIP: Danish Cancer Society and the Danish National Board of Health. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 174-176
Variation in diet associated with drinking patterns may partly explain why wine seems to reduce ischaemic heart disease mortality. In a cross-sectional study conducted in Copenhagen and Aarhus from 1995 to 1997 including 23,284 men and 25,479 women aged 50-64 years, the relation between intake of different alcoholic beverages and selected indicators of a healthy diet was investigated. In multivariate analyses, wine, as compared with other alcoholic drinks, was associated with a higher intake of fruit, fish, cooked vegetables, salad, the use of olive oil for cooking and not using fat spread on rye bread. In conclusion, the association between wine drinking and an intake of a healthy diet may have implications for the interpretation of previous reports of the relation between type of alcoholic beverage and ischaemic heart disease mortality.
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.
OBJECTIVES: Despite increasing interest in the concept of calibration in dietary surveys, there is still little experience in the use and standardization of a common reference dietary method, especially in international studies. In this paper, we present the general theoretical framework and the approaches developed to standardize the computer-assisted 24 h diet recall method (EPIC-SOFT) used to collect about 37 000 24-h dietary recall measurements (24-HDR) from the 10 countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). In addition, an analysis of variance was performed to examine the level of standardization of EPIC-SOFT across the 90 interviewers involved in the study. METHODS: The analysis of variance used a random effects model in which mean energy intake per interviewer was used as the dependent variable, while age, body mass index (BMI), energy requirement, week day, season, special diet, special day, physical activity and the EPIC-SOFT version were used as independent variables. The analysis was performed separately for men and women. RESULTS: The results show no statistical difference between interviewers in all countries for men and five out of eight countries for women, after adjustment for physical activity and the EPIC-SOFT program version used, and the exclusion of one interviewer in Germany (for men), and one in Denmark (for women). These results showed an interviewer effect in certain countries and a significant difference between gender, suggesting an underlying respondent's effect due to the higher under-reporting among women that was consistently observed in EPIC. However, the actual difference between interviewer and country mean energy intakes is about 10%. Furthermore, no statistical differences in mean energy intakes were observed across centres from the same country, except in Italy and Germany for men, and France and Spain for women, where the populations were recruited from areas scattered throughout the countries. CONCLUSION: Despite these encouraging results and the efforts to standardize the 24-HDR interview method, conscious or unconscious behaviour of respondents and/or interviewer bias cannot be prevented entirely. Further evaluation of the reliability of EPIC-SOFT measurements will be conducted through validation against independent biological markers (nitrogen, potassium).
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.
BACKGROUND: Variation in diet associated with drinking patterns may explain why wine seems to reduce ischemic heart disease mortality. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to study the association between intake of different alcoholic beverages and selected indicators of a healthy diet. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, from 1995 to 1997, and included 23 284 men and 25 479 women aged 50-64 y. The main outcome measures were groups of selected foods that were indicators of a healthy dietary pattern. RESULTS: Wine, as compared with other alcoholic drinks, was associated with a higher intake of fruit, fish, cooked vegetables, salad, and the use of olive oil for cooking in both men and women. Men who preferred beer and spirits had odds ratios of 0.42 (95% CI: 0.39, 0.45) and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.43, 0.60), respectively, for a high intake of salad compared with those who preferred wine. Higher wine intake was associated with a higher intake of healthy food items compared with intake of
Comment In: Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):2-39925114
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: 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.