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    ABSTRACT: The theory that nutrition might be involved in the causation and prevention of cancer arose over 100 years ago from laboratory studies of the effect of diet on tumour growth. During the mid-20th century, the major focus of cancer epidemiology was on the role of tobacco and alcohol. It was not until the early 1980s, following a seminal report from Doll and Peto on cancer causes, that major research programmes on nutrition and cancer were instigated. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) was established at IARC-WHO as a large prospective cohort study designed specifically to investigate the relationship of diet, nutritional factors, anthropometry and physical activity with cancer risk. Since the early 1990s, EPIC has made a major contribution to understanding the effect of these factors on population risk of cancer. This chapter summarises the development of the field of nutritional cancer epidemiology, and describes how the EPIC study was designed to investigate cancer and nutrition. Key findings from EPIC in the role of nutrition and metabolic factors and cancer are highlighted.
    Cancer treatment and research 01/2014; 159:3-20.
  • New England Journal of Medicine 09/2013; 369(10):954-64.
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    ABSTRACT: Water pipe tobacco smoking appears to be an increasing public health concern, with anecdotal reports of higher prevalence than cigarette smoking among young people in some high-income countries. We examined the prevalence and predictors of water pipe and cigarette smoking among students attending secondary schools in a deprived, ethnically diverse part of inner London. We conducted a 96-item, validated smoking habits questionnaire with 2,399 students who were 8, 10, and 12/13 years old from 15 secondary schools in Brent, northwest London. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to examine predictors of current and ever cigarette and water pipe smoking. Current water pipe smoking prevalence was more than double that of cigarette smoking prevalence (7.6% vs. 3.4%, p < .001). One in 4 students had tried water pipe compared with 1 in 6 who had tried cigarette smoking (24.0% vs. 15.8%, p < .001). Significant predictors of ever water pipe use include being in a higher age group, South Asian or Middle Eastern ethnicity, and personal, family, or friends tobacco use. Significant predictors of ever cigarette use include being in a higher age group, White ethnicity, and personal, family, or friends tobacco use. Students attending schools with more water pipe cafes within 0.5 miles were more likely to be current water pipe users (AOR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.33-4.42). Water pipe smoking may be more prevalent than cigarette smoking among young people in some high-income countries. Improved surveillance and dedicated tobacco control interventions are required to better understand the epidemiology of water pipe use and address its growing use.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Disinfection by-products (DBPs) have been associated with adverse semen outcomes in laboratory animals, although the evidence for trihalomethanes (THMs) is limited. Three small epidemiological studies found little evidence for an association between DBPs and adverse semen outcomes in humans. Using data from a large case-referent study (Chemicals and Pregnancy Study, Chaps-UK), we investigated the association between total THM (TTHM), chloroform and total brominated THMs and sperm concentration, percent motile sperm and motile sperm concentration (MSC). METHODS: Chaps-UK recruited men from 13 fertility clinics in nine urban centres across England and Wales between 1999 and 2002. We linked modelled THM concentrations in water zones to semen quality data for 642 cases (men with low MSC) and 926 referents (other men investigated for infertility), based on the men's residence during semen sampling. We assessed risk of low MSC in relation to DBP exposure using continuous THM concentrations. A secondary analysis investigated continuous outcomes (MSC, sperm concentration and percent motile sperm). RESULTS: In the case-referent analysis there was little evidence of elevated risk associated with chloroform, total brominated THM or TTHM concentration after adjustment (OR per 10 µg/L TTHM 1.01; 95% CI 0.91 to 1.12). Similarly, there was no significant effect of THMs on the continuous outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In the largest study to date on DBPs in public water supplies, and semen quality we found that concentrations of THMs were not associated with poor semen quality. Large-scale investigation of other DBPs (eg, haloacetic acids) and other semen quality parameters (eg, sperm morphology and/or sperm DNA integrity) is recommended.
    Occupational and environmental medicine 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: /st>The EuroSCORE associates coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery with higher perioperative risk in the first 3 months after a myocardial infarction (MI). The optimal scheduling of CABG surgery after unstable angina (UA) is unknown. We investigated the preoperative predictors of adverse outcomes in patients undergoing CABG with prior MI or UA and investigated the importance of time interval between the cardiac event and CABG. METHODS: /st>The Hospital Episode Statistics database (April 2006-March 2010) was analysed for elective admissions for CABG. Independent preoperative patient factors influencing length of stay, readmission rates, and mortality, were identified by logistic regression and presented as adjusted odds ratios (ORs). RESULTS: /st>A total of 10 418 patients with prior MI (mortality 1.8%) and 5241 patients with prior UA (mortality 2.2%) were included in the respective cohorts. Multiple risk factors were identified in each population including liver disease and renal failure. The time interval from cardiac event (MI or UA) to elective CABG surgery did not influence perioperative outcomes when analysed as a continuous measure or using the arbitrary 3-month threshold [MI, OR 1.1 (0.78-1.57) and UA, OR 0.65 (0.39-1.09)]. CONCLUSIONS: /st>Our hypothesis generating data suggest that the increased risk currently allocated in the EuroSCORE for an interval of 3 months between MI and CABG should be critically re-evaluated. Furthermore, prior MI should not be discounted as a risk factor if it is more than 3 months old.
    BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia 04/2013;
  • Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) 03/2013; 24(2):193-4.
  • BMJ (online) 02/2013; 346:f817.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Data are lacking on the optimal scheduling of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery after stroke. The authors investigated the preoperative predictors of adverse outcomes in patients undergoing CABG, with a focus on the importance of the time interval between prior stroke and CABG. METHODS:: The Hospital Episode Statistics database (April 2006-March 2010) was analyzed for elective admissions for CABG. Independent preoperative patient factors influencing length of stay, postoperative stroke, and mortality, were identified by logistic regression and presented as adjusted odds ratios (OR). RESULTS:: In all,62,104 patients underwent CABG (1.8% mortality). Prior stroke influenced mortality (OR 2.20 [95% CI 1.47-3.29]), postoperative stroke (OR 1.99 [1.39-2.85]), and prolonged length of stay (OR 1.31 [1.11-1.56]). The time interval between stroke and CABG did not influence mortality or prolonged length of stay. However, a longer time interval between stroke and CABG surgery was associated with a small increase in risk of postoperative stroke (OR per month elapsed 1.02 [1.00-1.04]; P = 0.047). An interaction was evident between prior stroke and myocardial infarction for death (OR 5.50 [2.84-10.8], indicating the importance of the combination of comorbidities. Prominent effects on mortality were also exerted by liver disease (OR 20.8 [15.18-28.51]) and renal failure (OR 4.59 [3.85-5.46]). CONCLUSIONS:: The authors found no evidence that more recent preoperative stroke predisposed patients undergoing CABG surgery to suffer postoperative stroke, death, or prolonged length of stay. The combination of prior stroke and myocardial infarction substantially increased perioperative risk.
    Anesthesiology 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The immune system is likely to play a key role in the etiology of gliomas. Genetic polymorphisms in the mannose-binding lectin gene, a key activator in the lectin complement pathway, have been associated with risk of several cancers. To examine the role of the lectin complement pathway, we combined data from prospectively collected cohorts with available DNA specimens. Using a nested case-control design, we genotyped 85 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 9 genes in the lectin complement pathway and 3 additional SNPs in MBL2 were tested post hoc). Initial SNPs were selected using tagging SNPs for haplotypes; the second group of SNPs for MBL2 was selected based on functional SNPs related to phenotype. Associations were examined using logistic regression analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided. Nominal p-values are presented and are not corrected for multiple comparisons. A total of 143 glioma cases and 419 controls were available for this analysis. Statistically significant associations were observed for two SNPs in the mannose-binding lectin 2 (ML2) gene and risk of glioma (rs1982266 and rs1800450, test for trend p = 0.003 and p = 0.04, respectively, using the additive model). One of these SNPs, rs1800450, was associated with a 58% increase in glioma risk among those carrying one or two mutated alleles (odds ratio = 1.58, 95% confidence interval = 0.99-2.54), compared to those homozygous for the wild type allele. Overall, our findings suggest that MBL may play a role in the etiology of glioma. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings which may be due to chance, and if reproduced, to determine mechanisms that link glioma pathogenesis with the MBL complement pathway.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e61117.
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    ABSTRACT: Large-scale gene, protein and metabolite measurements (‘omics’) have driven the resolution of biology to an unprecedented high definition. Passing from reductionism to a system-oriented perspective, medical research will take advantage of these high-throughput technologies unveiling their full potential. Integration is the key to decoding the underlying principles that govern the complex functions of living systems. Extensive computational support and statistical modelling is needed to manage and connect the -omic data sets but this, in turn, is speeding up the hypothesis generation in biology enormously and yielding a deep insight into the pathophysiology. This systems biology approach will transform diagnostic and therapeutic strategies with the discovery of novel biomarkers that will enable a predictive and preventive medicine leading to personalized medicine.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 12/2012;
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