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.
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.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether low-grade gliomas contain functional cortical activity more often than high-grade gliomas within radiologically defined abnormal tissue. METHODS: Patients with intra-axial cerebral lesions located in the vicinity of eloquent brain cortex preoperatively underwent magnetic source imaging. A dual 37-channel biomagnetometer was used to perform the imaging. Evoked magnetic fields were analyzed using the single-equivalent dipole representation to ascertain the neuronal source. Stimuli included painless tactile somatosensory stimulation of fingers, toes, and lips and auditory presentation of pure sinusoidal tones. RESULTS: A retrospective analysis of 106 nonconsecutively treated patients, who had undergone preoperative magnetic source imaging between February 1996 and December 1999, revealed that 24.5% of the patients had been at risk for neurological deficits, because functionally active tissue was located within or at the border of the tumor. Functional activity was found within the radiologically defined lesion in 18% of Grade 2 tumors, in 17% of Grade 3 tumors, and in 8% of Grade 4 tumors. CONCLUSION: The results confirm that, regardless of tumor grade, intra-axial brain tumors may involve or directly border on functional cortex. The degree of involvement of functionally viable cortex appeared greater for low-grade tumors than for high-grade lesions. On the other hand, high-grade lesions were more likely to be associated with functional cortex at their margins or within peritumoral edema. To safely maximize tumor resection, preoperative functional imaging and intraoperative electrophysiological mapping of the cerebral cortex and the white matter tracts are deemed necessary.
OBJECTIVE: To describe physical activity of participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). DESIGN: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data of a European prospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: This analysis was restricted to participants in the age group 50-64 years, which was represented in all EPIC centres. It involved 236 386 participants from 25 centres in nine countries. In each EPIC centre, physical activity was assessed by standardised and validated questions. Frequency distribution of type of professional activity and participation in non-professional activities, and age-adjusted means, medians and percentiles of time dedicated to non-professional activities are presented for men and women from each centre. RESULTS: Professional activity was most frequently classified as sedentary or standing in all centres. There was a wide variation regarding participation in different types of non-professional activities and time dedicated to these activities across EPIC centres. Over 80% of all EPIC participants engaged in walking, while less than 50% of the subjects participated in sport. Total time dedicated to recreational activities was highest among the Dutch participants and lowest among men from MalmÃ¶ (Sweden) and women from Naples (Italy). In all centres, total time dedicated to recreational activity in the summer was higher than in the winter. Women from southern Europe spent the most time on housekeeping. CONCLUSIONS: There is a considerable variation of physical activity across EPIC centres. This variation was especially evident for recreational activities in both men and women.
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (Unité Mixte de Recherche 5183 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Université Joseph Fourier), 54 Rue Molière, B.P. 96, 38402 St. Martin d'Hères Cedex, France. email@example.com
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22;106(38):16114-9
Mercury (Hg) is an extremely toxic pollutant, and its biogeochemical cycle has been perturbed by anthropogenic emissions during recent centuries. In the atmosphere, gaseous elemental mercury (GEM; Hg degrees ) is the predominant form of mercury (up to 95%). Here we report the evolution of atmospheric levels of GEM in mid- to high-northern latitudes inferred from the interstitial air of firn (perennial snowpack) at Summit, Greenland. GEM concentrations increased rapidly after World War II from approximately 1.5 ng m(-3) reaching a maximum of approximately 3 ng m(-3) around 1970 and decreased until stabilizing at approximately 1.7 ng m(-3) around 1995. This reconstruction reproduces real-time measurements available from the Arctic since 1995 and exhibits the same general trend observed in Europe since 1990. Anthropogenic emissions caused a two-fold rise in boreal atmospheric GEM concentrations before the 1970s, which likely contributed to higher deposition of mercury in both industrialized and remotes areas. Once deposited, this toxin becomes available for methylation and, subsequently, the contamination of ecosystems. Implementation of air pollution regulations, however, enabled a large-scale decline in atmospheric mercury levels during the 1980s. The results shown here suggest that potential increases in emissions in the coming decades could have a similar large-scale impact on atmospheric Hg levels.
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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).