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  • Cigar and pipe smoking and cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

    11 December 2018

    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 102,395 men from Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom 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 to 70 years were estimated using proportional hazards models. Compared to never smokers, HR of cancers of lung, upper aerodigestive 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 (1,069 cases). For each smoking type, effects were stronger in current smokers 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.

  • Body size and risk of prostate cancer in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition.

    11 December 2018

    Body size has been hypothesized to influence the risk of prostate cancer; however, most epidemiologic studies have relied on body mass index (BMI) to assess adiposity, whereas only a few studies have examined whether body fat distribution predicts prostate cancer.We examined the association of height, BMI, waist and hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio with prostate cancer risk among 129,502 men without cancer at baseline from 8 countries of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), using Cox regression, with age as time metric, stratifying by study center and age at recruitment, and adjusting for education, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.During a mean follow-up of 8.5 years, 2,446 men developed prostate cancer. Waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were positively associated with risk of advanced disease. The relative risk of advanced prostate cancer was 1.06 (95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.1) per 5-cm-higher waist circumference and 1.21 (95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.39) per 0.1-unit-higher waist-hip ratio. When stratified by BMI, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were positively related to risk of total, advanced, and high-grade prostate cancer among men with lower but not among those with higher BMI (Pinteraction for waist with BMI, 0.25, 0.02, and 0.05, respectively; Pinteraction for waist-hip ratio with BMI, 0.27, 0.22, and 0.14; respectively).These data suggest that abdominal adiposity may be associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. This association may be stronger among individuals with lower BMI; however, this finding needs confirmation in future studies.

  • Anthropometric characteristics and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

    11 December 2018

    The incidences of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma are increasing steadily. It has been hypothesized that this may be due, in part, to the parallel rising prevalence of obesity. It is biologically plausible that anthropometric characteristics can infuence the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.In the context of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), anthropometric characteristics were assessed in 371,983 cancer-free individuals at baseline. During the 8.5 years of follow-up, 1,219 histologically confirmed incident cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma occurred in 609 men and 610 women. Gender-specific proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma in relation to the anthropometric characteristics.Height was associated with overall non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma in women (RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.14-1.98) for highest versus lowest quartile; p-trend < 0.01) but not in men. Neither obesity (weight and body mass index) nor abdominal fat (waist-to-hip ratio, waist or hip circumference) measures were positively associated with overall non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Relative risks for highest versus lowest body mass index quartile were 1.09 (95% CI 0.85-1.38) and 0.92 (95% CI 0.71-1.19) for men and women, respectively. Women in the upper body mass index quartile were at greater risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.05-4.53) and taller women had an elevated risk of follicular lymphoma (RR 1.25, 95% CI 0.59-2.62). Among men, height and body mass index were non-significantly, positively related to follicular lymphoma. Multiple myeloma risk alone was elevated for taller women (RR 2.34, 95% CI 1.29-4.21) and heavier men (RR 1.77, 95% CI 1.02-3.05).The EPIC analyses support an association between height and overall non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma among women and suggest heterogeneous subtype associations. This is one of the first prospective studies focusing on central adiposity and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma subtypes.

  • Cytokine gene polymorphisms and the risk of adenocarcinoma of the stomach in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC-EURGAST).

    11 December 2018

    The relative contribution to gastric cancer (GC) risk of variants in genes that determine the inflammatory response remains mostly unknown and results from genotyping studies are inconsistent.A nested case-control study within the prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort was carried out, including 248 gastric adenocarcinomas and 770 matched controls. Twenty common polymorphisms at cytokine genes [interleukin (IL)1A, IL1B, IL1RN, IL4, IL4R, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL12A, IL12B, lymphotoxin alpha and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)] were analyzed. Antibodies against Helicobacter pylori (Hp) and CagA were measured.IL1RN 2R/2R genotype [odds ratio (OR) 2.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19-4.96] and allele IL1RN Ex5-35C were associated with an increased risk of Hp(+) non-cardia GC. IL8 -251AA genotype was associated with a decreased risk of Hp(+) non-cardia GC (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.32-0.81), mainly of the intestinal type. These associations were not modified by CagA status. Carriers of IL1B -580C and TNF -487A alleles did not associate with an increased risk. A moderately increased risk of Hp(+) non-cardia GC for IL4R -29429T variant was observed (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.15-2.63).This prospective study confirms the association of IL1RN polymorphisms with the risk of non-cardia GC and indicates that IL8 -251T>A may modify the risk for GC.

  • Lifetime and baseline alcohol intake and risk of colon and rectal cancers in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC).

    11 December 2018

    Alcohol consumption may be associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but the epidemiological evidence for an association with specific anatomical subsites, types of alcoholic beverages and current vs. lifetime alcohol intake is inconsistent. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), 478,732 study subjects free of cancer at enrolment between 1992 and 2000 were followed up for an average of 6.2 years, during which 1,833 CRC cases were observed. Detailed information on consumption of alcoholic beverages at baseline (all cases) and during lifetime (1,447 CRC cases, 69% of the cohort) was collected from questionnaires. Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the alcohol-CRC association. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, lifetime alcohol intake was significantly positively associated to CRC risk (hazard ratio, HR=1.08, 95%CI=1.04-1.12 for 15 g/day increase), with higher cancer risks observed in the rectum (HR=1.12, 95%CI=1.06-1.18) than distal colon (HR=1.08, 95%CI=1.01-1.16), and proximal colon (HR=1.02, 95%CI=0.92-1.12). Similar results were observed for baseline alcohol intake. When assessed by alcoholic beverages at baseline, the CRC risk for beer (HR=1.38, 95%CI=1.08-1.77 for 20-39.9 vs. 0.1-2.9 g/day) was higher than wine (HR=1.21, 95%CI=1.02-1.44), although the two risk estimates were not significantly different from each other. Higher HRs for baseline alcohol were observed for low levels of folate intake (1.13, 95%CI=1.06-1.20 for 15 g/day increase) compared to high folate intake (1.03, 95%CI=0.98-1.09). In this large European cohort, both lifetime and baseline alcohol consumption increase colon and rectum cancer risk, with more apparent risk increases for alcohol intakes greater than 30 g/day.

  • The association of gastric cancer risk with plasma folate, cobalamin, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

    11 December 2018

    Previous studies have shown inconsistent associations of folate intake and polymorphisms of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene with gastric cancer risk. Our nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort is the first prospective study of blood folate levels and gastric cancer. Gastric cancer cases (n=247) and controls (n=631) were matched for study center, age, sex, and time of blood donation. Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms of the MTHFR gene were determined, as were plasma concentrations of folate, cobalamin (vitamin B12), total homocysteine, and methylmalonic acid (cobalamin deficiency marker) in prediagnostic plasma. Risk measures were calculated with conditional logistic regression. Although no relations were observed between plasma folate or total homocysteine concentrations and gastric cancer, we observed a trend toward lower risk of gastric cancer with increasing cobalamin concentrations (odds ratio, 0.79 per SD increase in cobalamin; P=0.01). Further analyses showed that the inverse association between cobalamin and gastric cancer was confined to cancer cases with low pepsinogen A levels (marker of severe chronic atrophic gastritis) at the time of blood sampling. The 677 C-->T MTHFR polymorphism was not associated with gastric cancer, but we observed an increased risk with the variant genotype of the 1298 A-->C polymorphism (odds ratio, 1.47 for CC versus AA; P=0.04). In conclusion, we found no evidence of a role of folate in gastric cancer etiology. However, we observed increased gastric cancer risk at low cobalamin levels that was most likely due to compromised cobalamin status in atrophic gastritis preceding gastric cancer.

  • Tobacco smoke and bladder cancer--in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

    11 December 2018

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between smoking and the development of bladder cancer. The study population consisted of 429,906 persons participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), 633 of whom developed bladder cancer during the follow-up period. An increased risk of bladder cancer was found for both current- (incidence rate ratio 3.96, 95% confidence interval: 3.07-5.09) and ex- (2.25, 1.74-2.91) smokers, compared to never-smokers. A positive association with intensity (per 5 cigarettes) was found among current-smokers (1.18, 1.09-1.28). Associations (per 5 years) were observed for duration (1.14, 1.08-1.21), later age at start (0.75, 0.66-0.85) and longer time since quitting (0.92, 0.86-0.98). Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during childhood increased the risk of bladder cancer (1.38, 1.00-1.90), whereas for ETS exposure as adult no effect was detected. The present study confirms the strong association between smoking and bladder cancer. The indication of a higher risk of bladder cancer for those who start smoking at a young age and for those exposed to ETS during childhood adds to the body of evidence suggesting that children are more sensitive to carcinogens than adults.

  • Body mass index, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio and serum levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in European women.

    11 December 2018

    To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) with serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and its binding protein (IGFBP)-3.Cross-sectional study on 2139 women participating in a case-control study on breast cancer and endogenous hormones. Data on lifestyle and reproductive factors were collected by means of questionnaires. Body height, weight, waist and hip circumferences were measured. Serum levels of IGF-I and insulin-like binding protein (IGFBP)-3 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Adjusted mean levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 across quintiles of BMI, waist circumference, and WHR were calculated by linear regression. Results were adjusted for potential confounders associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3.Adjusted mean serum IGF-I values were lower in women with BMI<22.5 kg/m(2) or BMI>29.2 kg/m(2) compared to women with BMI within this range (P(heterogeneity)<0.0001, P(trend)=0.35). Insulin-like growth factor-I was not related to WHR after adjustment for BMI. IGF-binding protein-3 was linearly positively related to waist and WHR after mutual adjustment. The molar ratio IGF-I/IGFBP-3 had a non-linear relation with BMI and a linear inverse relationship with WHR (P (trend)=0.005).Our data confirm the nonlinear relationship of circulating IGF-I to total adiposity in women. Serum IGFBP-3 was positively related to central adiposity. These suggest that bioavailable IGF-I levels could be lower in obese compared to non-obese women and inversely related to central adiposity.

  • Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

    11 December 2018

    OBJECTIVE: The association between consumption of fruit and vegetables and risk of ovarian cancer is still unclear from a prospective point of view. METHODS: Female participants (n = 325,640) of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, free of any cancer at baseline, were followed on average for 6.3 years to develop ovarian cancer. During 2,049,346 person-years, 581 verified cases of primary, invasive epithelial ovarian cancer were accrued. Consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as subgroups of vegetables, estimated from validated dietary questionnaires and calibrated thereafter, was related to ovarian cancer incidence in multivariable hazard regression models. Histologic subtype specific analyses were done. RESULTS: Total intake of fruit and vegetables, separately or combined, as well as subgroups of vegetables (fruiting, root, leafy vegetables, cabbages) was unrelated to risk of ovarian cancer. A high intake of garlic/onion vegetables was associated with a borderline significant reduced risk of this cancer. The examination by histologic subtype indicated some differential effects of fruit and vegetable intake on ovarian cancer risk. CONCLUSION: Overall, a high intake of fruits and vegetables did not seem to protect from ovarian cancer. Garlic/onion vegetables may exert a beneficial effect. The study of the histologic subtype of the tumor warrants further investigation.

  • Smoking and the risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

    11 December 2018

    Smoking has recently been recognised as causally associated with the development of gastric cancer (GC). However, evidence on the effect by sex, duration and intensity of smoking, anatomic subsite and cessation of smoking is limited. Our objective was to assess the relation between tobacco use and GC incidence in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). We studied data from 521,468 individuals recruited from 10 European countries taking part in the EPIC study. Participants completed lifestyle questionnaires that included questions on lifetime consumption of tobacco and diet in 1991-1998. Participants were followed until September 2002, and during that period 305 cases of stomach cancer were identified. After exclusions, 274 were eligible for the analysis, using the Cox proportional hazard model. After adjustment for educational level, consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and preserved meat, alcohol intake and body mass index (BMI), there was a significant association between cigarette smoking and gastric cancer risk: the hazard ratio (HR) for ever smokers was 1.45 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08-1.94). The HR of current cigarette smoking was 1.73 (95% CI = 1.06-2.83) in males and 1.87 (95% CI = 1.12-3.12) in females. Hazard ratios increased with intensity and duration of cigarette smoked. A significant decrease of risk was observed after 10 years of quitting smoking. A preliminary analysis of 121 cases with identified anatomic site showed that current cigarette smokers had a higher HR of GC in the cardia (HR = 4.10) than in the distal part of the stomach (HR = 1.94). In this cohort, 17.6 % (95% CI = 10.5-29.5 %) of GC cases may be attributable to smoking. Findings from this large study support the causal relation between smoking and gastric cancer in this European population. Stomach cancer should be added to the burden of diseases caused by smoking.