OBJECTIVE: Using a nested case-referent design we evaluated the relationship between plasma levels of six carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol, and retinol, sampled before diagnosis, and later breast cancer risk. METHODS: In total, 201 cases and 290 referents were selected from three population-based cohorts in northern Sweden, where all subjects donated blood samples at enrolment. All blood samples were stored at -80 degrees C. Cases and referents were matched for age, age of blood sample, and sampling centre. Breast cancer cases were identified through the regional and national cancer registries. RESULTS: Plasma concentrations of carotenoids were positively intercorrelated. In analysis of three cohorts as a group none of the carotenoids was found to be significantly related to the risk of developing breast cancer. Similarly, no significant associations between breast cancer risk and plasma levels of alpha-tocopherol or retinol were found. However, in postmenopausal women from a mammography cohort with a high number of prevalent cases, lycopene was significantly associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer. A significant trend of an inverse association between lutein and breast cancer risk was seen in premenopausal women from two combined population-based cohorts with only incident cases. A non-significant reduced risk with higher plasma alpha-carotene was apparent throughout all the sub-analyses. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, no significant associations were found between plasma levels of carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol or retinol and breast cancer risk in analysis of three combined cohorts. However, results from stratified analysis by cohort membership and menopausal status suggest that lycopene and other plasma-carotenoids may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and that menopausal status has an impact on the mechanisms involved.
The carcinogenicity of cigar and pipe smoking is established but the effect of detailed smoking characteristics is less well defined. We examined the effects on cancer incidence of exclusive cigar and pipe smoking, and in combination with cigarettes, among 102395 men from Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden and UK in the EPIC cohort. Hazard ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for cancer during a median 9 year follow-up from ages 35-70 years were estimated using proportional hazards models. Compared to never smokers, HR of cancers of lung, upper aero-digestive tract and bladder combined was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.3, 3.8) for exclusive cigar smokers (16 cases), 3.0 (2.1, 4.5) for exclusive pipe smokers (33 cases) and 5.3 (4.4, 6.4) for exclusive cigarette smokers (1069 cases). For each smoking type, effects were stronger in current than in ex-smokers, and in inhalers than in non-inhalers. Ever smokers of both cigarettes and cigars (HR 5.7 (4.4, 7.3), 120 cases) and cigarettes and pipes (5.1 (4.1, 6.4), 247 cases) had as high a raised risk as had exclusive cigarette smokers. In these smokers, the magnitude of the raised risk was smaller if they had switched to cigars or pipes only (i.e. quit cigarettes) and had not compensated with greater smoking intensity. Cigar and pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. The lower cancer risk of cigar and pipe smokers as compared to cigarette smokers is explained by lesser degree of inhalation and lower smoking intensity. (c) 2010 UICC.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), a strongly mitogenic and anti-apoptotic factor, in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The bioactivity of IGF-I within tissues depends on circulating levels, as well as on the local production of IGF-I and the presence of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs). The IGFBPs regulate the efflux of IGF-I to the extravascular space and the bioavailability of IGF-I within tissues. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Within the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, 60 cases of BPH defined by a history of prostate resection were identified, and two controls per case were selected. IGF-I, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-3 and insulin were measured by immuno-radiometric assays in stored plasma samples drawn a mean of 3.2 years before surgery. RESULTS: The risk of BPH increased with increasing quartile levels of IGF-I adjusted for IGFBP-3 (p(trend) = 0.10) up to a relative risk of 2.16 (95% confidence interval 0.83-5.64) for the highest quartile. The risk decreased with increasing levels of IGFBP-1 (p(trend) = 0.10). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that elevated IGF-I bioactivity may stimulate the development of BPH; however, they were not statistically significant and require confirmation from larger studies.
We conducted a first pilot study on healthy women living in two countries with different dietary habits, Granada in the south of Spain and Malmö in the south of Sweden, in order to compare their levels of plasma phospholipid fatty acids, and to examine the relationship between the differences in food consumption. This study is part of a pilot study which is nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, a multi-centre prospective cohort study on diet, plasma concentrations of antioxidants and fatty acids, and markers of oxidative stress. Thirty-nine women in Granada and thirty-eight women in Malmö, aged 45-50 years (all pre-menopausal) were selected among the female participants in the cohorts from these two countries. Individual measurements of the women's habitual diet were obtained by a food frequency questionnaire. 24-hour diet recalls were used for the standardised measurement of diet at group level. Plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition was determined by capillary gas chromatography. We found a different fatty acid profile in plasma between the two populations, with higher mean levels of palmitic acid (16:0), palmitoleic acid (16:1) (n-7), oleic acid (18:1), alpha-linolenic acid (18:3) (n-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5) (n-3), and lower mean levels of stearic acid (18:0) in Malmö compared to Granada. Women in Malmö consumed more meat, alcoholic beverages and sugar, and less fish and shellfish than women in Granada. We conclude that the fatty acid composition in plasma phospholipids is different between women from the two European centres. For polyunsaturated fatty acids, differences were observed for (n-3) fatty acids. In relation to these differences, we observed that specific food intakes, particularly meat and fish, varied between the two centres.
Food composition tables were studied from nine European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. They were compared from the point view of availability, definition, analytical methods, and mode of expression of the nutrients of interest for EPIC, and it was seen that most of the nutrients in the tables are analysed and expressed in a compatible way. For some nutrients, however, common methods and definitions (folate, dietary fibre), or modes of expression (energy, protein, carbohydrates, carotenes, vitamin A and E) have not yet been agreed upon, so values are not comparable. For vitamin C a wide range of values are found due to the high natural variation in foods. For compiled tables, an additional problem is the use of several sources which may mean that the nutritional values are not comparable within the same table; and these values cannot be converted if the source is not stated. In addition, some tables were compiled using food composition values produced over 20 years ago with outdated analytical methods. In view of the inconsistent values for some nutrients and due to the large amount of foods reported within EPIC, it was concluded that standardised food composition tables have to be developed for the nine European countries involved in EPIC in order to provide comparable nutrient intake data.
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 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.
The study of the relationship between dietary intake of fatty acids and the risk of breast cancer has not yielded definite conclusions with respect to causality, possibly because of methodological issues inherent to nutritional epidemiology. To evaluate the hypothesis of possible protection of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) against breast cancer in women, we examined the fatty-acid composition of phospholipids in pre-diagnostic sera of 196 women who developed breast cancer, and of 388 controls matched for age at recruitment and duration of follow-up, in a prospective cohort study in Umeâ, northern Sweden. Individual fatty acids were measured as a percentage of total fatty acids, using capillary gas chromatography. Conditional logistic-regression models showed no significant association between n-3 PUFA and breast-cancer risk. In contrast, women in the highest quartile of stearic acid had a relative risk of 0.49 (95% confidence interval, 0.22-1.08) compared with women in the lowest quartile (trend p = 0.047), suggesting a protective role of stearic acid in breast-cancer risk. Besides stearic acid, women in the highest quartile of the 18:0/18:1 n-9c ratio had a relative risk of 0.50 (95% confidence interval, 0.23-1.10) compared with women in the lowest quartile (trend p = 0.064), suggesting a decrease in breast-cancer risk in women with low activity of the enzyme delta 9-desaturase (stearoyl CoA desaturase), which may reflect an underlying metabolic profile characterized by insulin resistance and chronic hyper-insulinemia.