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  • 1
    Keywords: SURVIVAL ; MORTALITY ; OBESITY ; smoking ; REGRESSION-MODELS ; MASS INDEX ; OVERWEIGHT ; ALS PATIENTS ; NUTRITIONAL-STATUS ; HYPERMETABOLISM
    Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the association between body fat and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with an appropriate prospective study design. METHODS: The EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study included 518,108 individuals recruited from the general population across 10 Western European countries. At recruitment, information on lifestyle was collected and anthropometric characteristics were measured. Cox hazard models were fitted to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures and ALS mortality. RESULTS: Two hundred twenty-two ALS deaths (79 men and 143 women) occurred during the follow-up period (mean follow-up = 13 years). There was a statistically significant interaction between categories of body mass index and sex regarding ALS risk (p = 0.009): in men, a significant linear decrease of risk per unit of body mass index was observed (hazard ratio = 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.86-0.99 per kg/m(2)); among women, the risk was more than 3-fold increased for underweight compared with normal-weight women. Among women, a significant risk reduction increasing the waist/hip ratio was also evident: women in the top quartile had less than half the risk of ALS compared with those in the bottom quartile (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.25-0.93) with a borderline significant p value for trend across quartiles (p = 0.056). CONCLUSION: Increased prediagnostic body fat is associated with a decreased risk of ALS mortality.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23390184
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  • 2
    Keywords: CANCER ; RISK ; HEALTH ; MEN ; FATTY-ACIDS ; nutrition ; POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN ; OLDER-ADULTS ; BONE-MINERAL DENSITY ; OSTEOPOROTIC FRACTURES
    Abstract: Prevention of hip fractures is of critical public health importance. In a cohort of adults from eight European countries, evidence was found that increased adherence to Mediterranean diet, measured by a 10-unit dietary score, is associated with reduced hip fracture incidence, particularly among men. INTRODUCTION: Evidence on the role of dietary patterns on hip fracture incidence is scarce. We explored the association of adherence to Mediterranean diet (MD) with hip fracture incidence in a cohort from eight European countries. METHODS: A total of 188,795 eligible participants (48,814 men and 139,981 women) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study with mean age 48.6 years (+/-10.8) were followed for a median of 9 years, and 802 incident hip fractures were recorded. Diet was assessed at baseline through validated dietary instruments. Adherence to MD was evaluated by a MD score (MDs), on a 10-point scale, in which monounsaturated were substituted with unsaturated lipids. Association with hip fracture incidence was assessed through Cox regression with adjustment for potential confounders. RESULTS: Increased adherence to MD was associated with a 7 % decrease in hip fracture incidence [hazard ratio (HR) per 1-unit increase in the MDs 0.93; 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) = 0.89-0.98]. This association was more evident among men and somewhat stronger among older individuals. Using increments close to one standard deviation of daily intake, in the overall sample, high vegetable (HR = 0.86; 95 % CI = 0.79-0.94) and high fruit (HR = 0.89; 95 % CI = 0.82-0.97) intake was associated with decreased hip fracture incidence, whereas high meat intake (HR = 1.18; 95 % CI = 1.06-1.31) with increased incidence. Excessive ethanol consumption (HR high versus moderate = 1.74; 95 % CI = 1.32-2.31) was also a risk factor. CONCLUSIONS: In a prospective study of adults, increased adherence to MD appears to protect against hip fracture occurrence, particularly among men.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23085859
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  • 3
    Keywords: SURVIVAL ; POPULATION ; PATTERNS ; HEALTH ; nutrition ; PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY ; METAANALYSIS ; RECTAL CANCERS ; ADHERENCE ; EPIC cohort
    Abstract: The authors investigated the association of adherence to Mediterranean diet with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study. Adherence to Mediterranean diet was expressed through two 10-unit scales, the Modified Mediterranean diet score (MMDS) and the Centre-Specific MMDS (CSMMDS). Both scales share the same dietary components but differ in the cut-off values that were used for these components in the construction of the scales. Adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for the associations of these scales with CRC incidence were estimated. After 5,296,617 person-years of follow-up, 4,355 incident CRC cases were identified. A decreased risk of CRC, of 8 and 11 % was estimated when comparing the highest (scores 6-9) with the lowest (scores 0-3) adherence to CSMMDS and MMDS respectively. For MMDS the HR was 0.89 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 0.80, 0.99). A 2-unit increment in either Mediterranean scale was associated with a borderline statistically significant 3 to 4 % reduction in CRC risk (HR for MMDS: 0.96; 95 % CI: 0.92, 1.00). These associations were somewhat more evident, among women, were mainly manifested for colon cancer risk and their magnitude was not altered when alcohol was excluded from MMDS. These findings suggest that following a Mediterranean diet may have a modest beneficial effect on CRC risk.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23579425
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  • 4
    Keywords: AGE ; WOMEN ; ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR ; ORAL-CONTRACEPTIVE USE ; ASSOCIATIONS ; HEIGHT ; METAANALYSIS ; REPLACEMENT THERAPY ; menarche
    Abstract: Background: The association of reproductive factors with hormone receptor (HR)-negative breast tumors remains uncertain. Methods: Within the EPIC cohort, Cox proportional hazards models were used to describe the relationships of reproductive factors (menarcheal age, time between menarche and first pregnancy, parity, number of children, age at first and last pregnancies, time since last full-term childbirth, breastfeeding, age at menopause, ever having an abortion and use of oral contraceptives [OC]) with risk of ER-PR-(n = 998) and ER+PR+ (n = 3,567) breast tumors. Results: A later first full-term childbirth was associated with increased risk of ER+PR+ tumors but not with risk of ER-PR-tumors (= 35 vs. = 19 years HR: 1.47 [95% CI 1.15-1.88] p(trend) 〈 0.001 for ER+PR+ tumors; = 35 vs. = 19 years HR: 0.93 [95% CI 0.53-1.65] p(trend) = 0.96 for ER-PR-tumors; P-het = 0.03). The risk associations of menarcheal age, and time period between menarche and first full-term childbirth with ER-PR-tumors were in the similar direction with risk of ER+PR+ tumors (p(het) = 0.50), although weaker in magnitude and statistically only borderline significant. Other parity related factors such as ever a full-term birth, number of births, age-and time since last birth were associated only with ER+PR+ malignancies, however no statistical heterogeneity between breast cancer subtypes was observed. Breastfeeding and OC use were generally not associated with breast cancer subtype risk. Conclusion: Our study provides possible evidence that age at menarche, and time between menarche and first full-term childbirth may be associated with the etiology of both HR-negative and HR-positive malignancies, although the associations with HR-negative breast cancer were only borderline significant.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24321460
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  • 5
    Keywords: POPULATION ; METABOLISM ; smoking ; CONSUMPTION ; CALIBRATION ; antioxidants ; BETA-CAROTENE ; ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL ; SERUM ; COHORTS
    Abstract: Evidence of a protective effect of several antioxidants and other nutrients on pancreatic cancer risk is inconsistent. The aim of this study was to investigate the association for prediagnostic plasma levels of carotenoids, vitamin C, retinol and tocopherols with risk of pancreatic cancer in a case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). 446 incident exocrine pancreatic cancer cases were matched to 446 controls by age at blood collection, study center, sex, date and time of blood collection, fasting status and hormone use. Plasma carotenoids (- and -carotene, lycopene, -cryptoxanthin, canthaxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein), - and -tocopherol and retinol were measured by reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography and plasma vitamin C by a colorimetric assay. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) for pancreatic cancer risk were estimated using a conditional logistic regression analysis, adjusted for smoking status, smoking duration and intensity, waist circumference, cotinine levels and diabetes status. Inverse associations with pancreatic cancer risk were found for plasma -carotene (IRR highest vs. lowest quartile 0.52, 95%CI 0.31-0.88, p for trend=0.02), zeaxanthin (IRR highest vs. lowest quartile 0.53, 95%CI 0.30-0.94, p for trend=0.06) and -tocopherol (IRR highest vs. lowest quartile 0.62, 95%CI 0.39-0.99, p for trend=0.08. For - and -carotene, lutein, sum of carotenoids and -tocopherol, heterogeneity between geographical regions was observed. In conclusion, our results show that higher plasma concentrations of -carotene, zeaxanthin and -tocopherol may be inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer, but further studies are warranted. What's new? Fruits and vegetables may play a role in the prevention of pancreatic cancer, but associations between the antioxidants those foods contain and disease risk remain unclear. In this study, pancreatic cancer risk was inversely associated with increased prediagnostic plasma concentrations of the antioxidants -carotene, zeaxanthin, and -tocopherol. Geographic variations were also detected. In Northern European countries, inverse associations with risk were found for blood levels of several carotenoids, whereas the association was strongest for -tocopherol in Southern European countries. The role of carotenoids and vitamins should be considered in subsequent investigations of the etiology of pancreatic cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25175624
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  • 6
    Keywords: RISK ; AGE ; WOMEN ; PROSPECTIVE COHORT ; PREVALENCE ; PROJECT ; LIFE-STYLE ; MELLITUS ; ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY ; PREMATURE
    Abstract: STUDY QUESTION: Do women who have diabetes before menopause have their menopause at an earlier age compared with women without diabetes? SUMMARY ANSWER: Although there was no overall association between diabetes and age at menopause, our study suggests that early-onset diabetes may accelerate menopause. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Today, more women of childbearing age are being diagnosed with diabetes, but little is known about the impact of diabetes on reproductive health. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: We investigated the impact of diabetes on age at natural menopause (ANM) in 258 898 women from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), enrolled between 1992 and 2000. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Determinant and outcome information was obtained through questionnaires. Time-dependent Cox regression analyses were used to estimate the associations of diabetes and age at diabetes diagnosis with ANM, stratified by center and adjusted for age, smoking, reproductive and diabetes risk factors and with age from birth to menopause or censoring as the underlying time scale. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Overall, no association between diabetes and ANM was found (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.89-1.01). However, women with diabetes before the age of 20 years had an earlier menopause (10-20 years: HR = 1.43; 95% CI 1.02-2.01, 〈10 years: HR = 1.59; 95% CI 1.03-2.43) compared with non-diabetic women, whereas women with diabetes at age 50 years and older had a later menopause (HR = 0.81; 95% CI 0.70-0.95). None of the other age groups were associated with ANM. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Strengths of the study include the large sample size and the broad set of potential confounders measured. However, results may have been underestimated due to survival bias. We cannot be sure about the sequence of the events in women with a late age at diabetes, as both events then occur in a short period. We could not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Based on the literature, an accelerating effect of early-onset diabetes on ANM might be plausible. A delaying effect of late-onset diabetes on ANM has not been reported before, and is not in agreement with recent studies suggesting the opposite association. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: The coordination of EPIC is financially supported by the European Commission (DG-SANCO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The national cohorts are supported by Danish Cancer Society (Denmark); Ligue Contre le Cancer, Institut Gustave Roussy, Mutuelle Generale de l'Education Nationale, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) (France); German Cancer Aid, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMMF) (Germany); Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Hellenic Health Foundation (Greece); Italian Association for Research on Cancer (AIRC) and National Research Council (Italy); Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Netherlands Cancer Registry (NKR), LK Research Funds, Dutch Prevention Funds, Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), Statistics Netherlands (The Netherlands); ERC-2009-AdG 232997 and Nordforsk, Nordic Centre of Excellence programme on Food, Nutrition and Health (Norway); Health Research Fund (FIS), Regional Governments of Andalucia, Asturias, Basque Country, Murcia (no. 6236) and Navarra, ISCIII RETIC (RD06/0020) (Spain); Swedish Cancer Society, Swedish Scientific Council and Regional Government of Skane and Vasterbotten (Sweden); Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Stroke Association, British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Food Standards Agency, and Wellcome Trust (UK). None of the authors reported a conflict of interest.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25779698
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  • 7
    Keywords: POPULATION ; HEALTH ; POLYPHENOLS ; UNITED-STATES ; ALCOHOL-CONSUMPTION ; ADULTS ; CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ; RECALL COHORT ; CATECHIN INTAKE ; SOFT PROGRAM
    Abstract: A greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean (MED) diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. This dietary pattern is based on higher consumption of plant products that are rich in flavonoids. We compared the total flavonoid dietary intakes, their food sources and various lifestyle factors between MED and non-MED countries participating in the EPIC study. Flavonoid intakes and their food sources for 35 628 subjects, aged 35-74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000, in twenty-six study centres were estimated using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-Soft (R)). An ad hoc food composition database on flavonoids was compiled using analytical data from the United States Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases. Moreover, it was expanded to include using recipes, estimations of missing values and flavonoid retention factors. No significant differences in total flavonoid mean intake between non-MED countries (373.7 mg/d) and MED countries (370.2 mg/d) were observed. In the non-MED region, the main contributors were proanthocyanidins (48.2 %) and flavan-3-ol monomers (24.9 %) and the principal food sources were tea (25.7 %) and fruits (32.8 %). In the MED region, proanthocyanidins (59.0 %) were by far the most abundant contributor and fruits (55.1 %), wines (16.7 %) and tea (6.8 %) were the main food sources. The present study shows similar results for total dietary flavonoid intakes, but significant differences in flavonoid class intakes, food sources and some characteristics between MED and non-MED countries. These differences should be considered in studies about the relationships between flavonoid intake and chronic diseases.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22980437
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  • 8
    Keywords: COHORT ; EPIDEMIOLOGY ; INDEX ; MEASUREMENT ERROR ; VALIDITY ; CALIBRATION ; DIETARY-INTAKE MEASUREMENTS ; METAANALYSIS ; FAT INTAKE
    Abstract: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death worldwide with large geographical variation, which implies the contribution of diet and lifestyle in its etiology. We examined the association of meat and fish consumption with risk of pancreatic cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). A total of 477,202 EPIC participants from 10 European countries recruited between 1992 and 2000 were included in our analysis. Until 2008, 865 nonendocrine pancreatic cancer cases have been observed. Calibrated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using multivariable-adjusted Cox hazard regression models. The consumption of red meat (RR per 50 g increase per day = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.93-1.14) and processed meat (RR per 50 g increase per day = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.71-1.23) were not associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk. Poultry consumption tended to be associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk (RR per 50 g increase per day = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.04-2.84); however, there was no association with fish consumption (RR per 50 g increase per day = 1.22, 95% CI = 0.92-1.62). Our results do not support the conclusion of the World Cancer Research Fund that red or processed meat consumption may possibly increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. The positive association of poultry consumption with pancreatic cancer might be a chance finding as it contradicts most previous findings.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22610753
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  • 9
    Keywords: POPULATION ; POLYPHENOLS ; CALIBRATION ; BLACK TEA ; Food sources ; GREEN
    Abstract: Thearubigins (TR) are polymeric flavanol-derived compounds formed during the fermentation of tea leaves. Comprising approximately 70% of total polyphenols in black tea, TR may contribute majorly to its beneficial effects on health. To date, there is no appropriate food composition data on TR, although several studies have used data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) database to estimate TR intakes. We aimed to estimate dietary TR in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and assess the impact of including TR or not in the calculation of the total dietary flavonoid intake. Dietary data were collected using a single standardized 24-h dietary recall interviewer-administered to 36 037 subjects aged 35-74 years. TR intakes were calculated using the USDA database. TR intakes ranged from 0.9 mg/day in men from Navarra and San Sebastian in Spain to 532.5 mg/day in men from UK general population. TR contributed 〈5% to the total flavonoid intake in Greece, Spain and Italy, whereas in the UK general population, TR comprised 48% of the total flavonoids. High heterogeneity in TR intake across the EPIC countries was observed. This study shows that total flavonoid intake may be greatly influenced by TR, particularly in high black tea-consuming countries. Further research on identification and quantification of TR is needed to get more accurate dietary TR estimations.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23612513
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  • 10
    Keywords: RISK ; POLYPHENOLS ; DERIVATIVES ; CONSUMPTION ; CALIBRATION ; COFFEE ; ADULTS ; FLAVONOIDS ; bioavailability ; EXPLORER DATABASE
    Abstract: Phenolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that may have protective effects against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer in experimental studies. To date, limited data exist on the quantitative intake of phenolic acids. We estimated the intake of phenolic acids and their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Phenolic acid intakes were estimated for 36 037 subjects aged 35-74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000 in ten European countries using a standardised 24 h recall software (EPIC-Soft), and their food sources were identified. Dietary data were linked to the Phenol-Explorer database, which contains data on forty-five aglycones of phenolic acids in 452 foods. The total phenolic acid intake was highest in Aarhus, Denmark (1265.5 and 980.7 mg/d in men and women, respectively), while the intake was lowest in Greece (213.2 and 158.6 mg/d in men and women, respectively). The hydroxycinnamic acid subclass was the main contributor to the total phenolic acid intake, accounting for 84.6-95.3% of intake depending on the region. Hydroxybenzoic acids accounted for 4.6-14.4%, hydroxyphenylacetic acids 0.1-0.8% and hydroxyphenylpropanoic acids 〈= 0.1% for all regions. An increasing south-north gradient of consumption was also found. Coffee was the main food source of phenolic acids and accounted for 55.3-80.7% of the total phenolic acid intake, followed by fruits, vegetables and nuts. A high heterogeneity in phenolic acid intake was observed across the European countries in the EPIC cohort, which will allow further exploration of the associations with the risk of diseases.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23507418
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