Publications by authors named "Gianluca Severi"

340 Publications

Antibody status and cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among adults in three regions of France following the first lockdown and associated risk factors: a multicohort study.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Paris University, Paris, France.

Background: We aimed to estimate the seropositivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in May-June 2020 after the first lockdown period in adults living in three regions in France and to identify the associated risk factors.

Methods: Between 4 May 2020 and 23 June 2020, 16 000 participants in a survey on COVID-19 from an existing consortium of three general adult population cohorts living in the Ile-de-France (IDF) or Grand Est (GE) (two regions with high rate of COVID-19) or in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine (NA) (with a low rate) were randomly selected to take a dried-blood spot for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies assessment with three different serological methods (ClinicalTrial Identifier #NCT04392388). The primary outcome was a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA IgG result against the spike protein of the virus (ELISA-S). Estimates were adjusted using sampling weights and post-stratification methods. Multiple imputation was used to infer the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection with adjustments for imperfect tests accuracies.

Results: The analysis included 14 628 participants, 983 with a positive ELISA-S. The weighted estimates of seropositivity and cumulative incidence were 10.0% [95% confidence interval (CI): 9.1%, 10.9%] and 11.4% (95% CI: 10.1%, 12.8%) in IDF, 9.0% (95% CI: 7.7%, 10.2%) and 9.8% (95% CI: 8.1%, 11.8%) in GE and 3.1% (95% CI: 2.4%, 3.7%) and 2.9% (95% CI: 2.1%, 3.8%) in NA, respectively. Seropositivity was higher in younger participants [odds ratio (OR) = 1.84 (95% CI: 1.79, 6.09) in <40 vs 50-60 years old and OR = 0.56 (95% CI: 0.42, 0.74) in ≥70 vs 50-60 years old)] and when at least one child or adolescent lived in the same household [OR = 1.30 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.53)] and was lower in smokers compared with non-smokers [OR = 0.71 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.49)].

Conclusions: Seropositivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the French adult population was ≤10% after the first wave. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab110DOI Listing
July 2021

Long-term exposure to air pollution and liver cancer incidence in six European cohorts.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jul 18. Epub 2021 Jul 18.

Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Particulate matter air pollution and diesel engine exhaust have been classified as carcinogenic for lung cancer, yet few studies have explored associations with liver cancer. We used six European adult cohorts which were recruited between 1985 and 2005, pooled within the 'Effects of low-level air pollution: A study in Europe' (ELAPSE) project, and followed for the incidence of liver cancer until 2011 to 2015. The annual average exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO ), particulate matter with diameter < 2.5 μm (PM ), black carbon (BC), warm-season ozone (O ), and eight elemental components of PM (copper, iron, zinc, sulfur, nickel, vanadium, silicon, potassium) were estimated by European-wide hybrid land-use regression models at participants' residential addresses. We analyzed the association between air pollution and liver cancer incidence by Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for potential confounders. Of 330,064 cancer-free adults at baseline, 512 developed liver cancer during a mean follow-up of 18.1 years. We observed positive linear associations between NO (hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 1.02-1.35 per 10 μg/m ), PM (1.12, 0.92-1.36 per 5 μg/m ), and BC (1.15, 1.00-1.33 per 0.5 10 /m) and liver cancer incidence. Associations with NO and BC persisted in two-pollutant models with PM . Most components of PM were associated with the risk of liver cancer, with the strongest associations for sulfur and vanadium, which were robust to adjustment for PM or NO . Our study suggests that ambient air pollution may increase the risk of liver cancer, even at concentrations below current EU standards. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33743DOI Listing
July 2021

The impact of left truncation of exposure in environmental case-control studies: evidence from breast cancer risk associated with airborne dioxin.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Service de Biostatistique-Bioinformatique, Pôle Santé Publique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.

In epidemiology, left-truncated data may bias exposure effect estimates. We analyzed the bias induced by left truncation in estimating breast cancer risk associated with exposure to airborne dioxins. Simulations were run with exposure estimates from a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based metric and considered two hypotheses for historical exposure, three scenarios for intra-individual correlation of annual exposures, and three exposure-effect models. For each correlation/model combination, 500 nested matched case-control studies were simulated and data fitted using a conditional logistic regression model. Bias magnitude was assessed by estimated odds-ratios (ORs) versus theoretical relative risks (TRRs) comparisons. With strong intra-individual correlation and continuous exposure, left truncation overestimated the Beta parameter associated with cumulative dioxin exposure. Versus a theoretical Beta of 4.17, the estimated mean Beta (5%; 95%) was 73.2 (67.7; 78.8) with left-truncated exposure and 4.37 (4.05; 4.66) with lifetime exposure. With exposure categorized in quintiles, the TRR was 2.0, the estimated OR 2.19 (2.04; 2.33) with truncated exposure versus 2.17 (2.02; 2.32) with lifetime exposure. However, the difference in exposure between Q5 and Q1 was 18× smaller with truncated data, indicating an important overestimation of the dose effect. No intra-individual correlation resulted in effect dilution and statistical power loss. Left truncation induced substantial bias in estimating breast cancer risk associated with exposure with continuous and categorical models. With strong intra-individual exposure correlation, both models detected associations, but categorical models provided better estimates of effect trends. This calls for careful consideration of left truncation-induced bias in interpreting environmental epidemiological data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00776-yDOI Listing
July 2021

Inflammatory potential of the diet and risk of breast cancer in the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jun 20. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Director Office, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

The role of chronic inflammation on breast cancer (BC) risk remains unclear beyond as an underlying mechanism of obesity and physical activity. We aimed to evaluate the association between the inflammatory potential of the diet and risk of BC overall, according to menopausal status and tumour subtypes. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, 318,686 women were followed for 14 years, among whom 13,246 incident BC cases were identified. The inflammatory potential of the diet was characterized by an inflammatory score of the diet (ISD). Multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess the potential effect of the ISD on BC risk by means of hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). ISD was positively associated with BC risk. Each increase of one standard deviation (1-Sd) of the score increased by 4% the risk of BC (HR = 1.04; 95% CI 1.01-1.07). Women in the highest quintile of the ISD (indicating a most pro-inflammatory diet) had a 12% increase in risk compared with those in the lowest quintile (HR = 1.12; 95% CI 1.04-1.21) with a significant trend. The association was strongest among premenopausal women, with an 8% increased risk for 1-Sd increase in the score (HR = 1.08; 95% CI 1.01-1.14). The pattern of the association was quite homogeneous by BC subtypes based on hormone receptor status. There were no significant interactions between ISD and body mass index, physical activity, or alcohol consumption. Women consuming more pro-inflammatory diets as measured by ISD are at increased risk for BC, especially premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00772-2DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of markers of inflammation, the kynurenine pathway and B vitamins with age and mortality, and a signature of inflammaging.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.

Background: Inflammation is a key feature of aging. We aimed to i) investigate the association of 34 blood markers potentially involved in inflammatory processes with age and mortality, ii) develop a signature of 'inflammaging'.

Methods: Thirty-four blood markers relating to inflammation, B vitamin status and the kynurenine pathway were measured in 976 participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study at baseline (median age=59 years) and follow-up (median age=70 years). Associations with age and mortality were assessed using linear and Cox regression, respectively. A parsimonious signature of inflammaging was developed and its association with mortality was compared with two marker scores calculated across all markers associated with age and mortality, respectively.

Results: The majority of markers (30/34) were associated with age, with stronger associations observed for neopterin, cystatin C, IL-6, TNF-α, several markers of the kynurenine pathway and derived indices KTR (kynurenine/tryptophan ratio), PAr index (ratio of 4-pyridoxic acid and the sum of pyridoxal 5´-phosphate and pyridoxal), and HK:XA (3-hydroxykynurenine/xanthurenic acid ratio). Many markers (17/34) showed an association with mortality, in particular IL-6, neopterin, CRP, quinolinic acid, PAr index, and KTR. The inflammaging signature included ten markers and was strongly associated of mortality (HR per SD=1.40, 95%CI:1.24-1.57, P=2x10 -8), similar to scores based on all age-associated (HR=1.38, 95%CI:1.23-1.55, P=4x10 -8) and mortality-associated markers (HR=1.43, 95%CI:1.28-1.60, P=1x10 -10), respectively. Strong evidence of replication of the inflammaging signature association with mortality was found in the Hordaland Health Study.

Conclusion: Our study highlights the key role of the kynurenine pathway and vitamin B6 catabolism in aging, along with other well-established inflammation-related markers. A signature of inflammaging based on ten markers was strongly associated with mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glab163DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Endometrial cancer is strongly associated with obesity and dysregulation of metabolic factors such as estrogen and insulin signaling are causal risk factors for this malignancy. To identify additional novel metabolic pathways associated with endometrial cancer we performed metabolomic analyses on pre-diagnostic plasma samples from 853 case-control pairs from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 129 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, hexoses, and sphingolipids) were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Conditional logistic regression estimated the associations of metabolites with endometrial cancer risk. An analysis focusing on clusters of metabolites using the bootstrap lasso method was also employed.

Results: After adjustment for body mass index, sphingomyelin [SM] C18:0 was positively (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.33), and glycine, serine, and free carnitine (C0) were inversely (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.80-0.99; OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-1.00 and OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81-1.00, respectively) associated with endometrial cancer risk. Serine, C0 and two sphingomyelins were selected by the lasso method in >90% of the bootstrap samples. The ratio of esterified to free carnitine (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.28) and that of short chain to free acylcarnitines (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.00-1.25) were positively associated with endometrial cancer risk. Further adjustment for C-peptide or other endometrial cancer risk factors only minimally altered the results.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that variation in levels of glycine, serine, SM C18:0 and free carnitine may represent specific pathways linked to endometrial cancer development. If causal, these pathways may offer novel targets for endometrial cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.06.001DOI Listing
June 2021

Epigenetic Drift Association with Cancer Risk and Survival, and Modification by Sex.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 14;13(8). Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia.

To investigate age- and sex-specific DNA methylation alterations related to cancer risk and survival, we used matched case-control studies of colorectal ( = 835), gastric ( = 170), kidney ( = 143), lung ( = 332), prostate ( = 869) and urothelial ( = 428) cancers, and mature B-cell lymphoma ( = 438). Linear mixed-effects models were conducted to identify age-, sex- and age-by-sex-associated methylation markers using a discovery (controls)-replication (cases) strategy. Replication was further examined using summary statistics from Generation Scotland (GS). Associations between replicated markers and risk of and survival from cancer were assessed using conditional logistic regression and Cox models (hazard ratios (HR)), respectively. We found 32,659, 23,141 and 48 CpGs with replicated associations for age, sex and age-by-sex, respectively. The replication rates for these CpGs using GS summary data were 94%, 86% and 91%, respectively. Significant associations for cancer risk and survival were identified at some individual age-related CpGs. Opposite to previous findings using epigenetic clocks, there was a strong negative trend in the association between epigenetic drift and risk of colorectal cancer. Methylation at two CpGs overlapping and genes was associated with survival of overall (HR = 0.91, = 7.7 × 10) and colorectal (HR = 1.52, = 1.8 × 10) cancer, respectively, with significant age-by-sex interaction. Our results may provide markers for cancer early detection and prognosis prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13081881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070898PMC
April 2021

The associations of the Palaeolithic diet alone and in combination with lifestyle factors with type 2 diabetes and hypertension risks in women in the E3N prospective cohort.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Paris-Saclay University, UVSQ, Univ. Paris-Sud, Inserm U1018, "Exposome, Heredity, Cancer, and Health" Team, CESP, Gustave Roussy, 114 rue Edouard Vaillant, 94805, Villejuif Cedex, France.

Purpose: Patterns of change from the traditional Palaeolithic lifestyle to the modern lifestyle may partly explain the epidemic proportions of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We investigated to what extent adherence to the Palaeolithic diet (PD) and the Palaeolithic-like lifestyle was associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension risks.

Methods: A study of 70,991 women from the E3N (Etude Epidémiologique auprès de femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale) cohort, followed up for nearly 20 years. There were 3292 incident T2D and 12,504 incident hypertension cases that were validated. Dietary data were collected at baseline in 1993 via a food frequency questionnaire. The PD score and the Palaeolithic-like lifestyle score (PD, physical activity, smoking status, and body mass index [BMI]) were derived and considered in quintiles. Multivariable Cox regression models were employed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for incident T2D and hypertension.

Results: In the fully adjusted models, a 1-SD increase of the PD score was associated with 4% and 3% lower risks of T2D and hypertension, respectively. Those in the highest versus the lowest quintile of the score had HR (95% CI) of 0.88 (0.79, 0.98) and 0.91 (0.86, 0.96) for T2D and hypertension, respectively (P-trend < 0.0001). Associations were stronger for the Palaeolithic-like lifestyle score; in the fully adjusted model, a 1-SD increase of the score was associated with 19% and 6% lower risks of T2D and hypertension, respectively. Risks lowered successively with each increase in quintile; those in the highest versus the lowest quintile had HR (95% CI) of 0.58 (0.52, 0.65) and 0.85 (0.80, 0.90) for T2D and hypertension, respectively (P-trend < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Our data suggest that adhering to a PD based on fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and nuts, and incorporating a Palaeolithic-like lifestyle could be promising options to prevent T2D and hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02565-5DOI Listing
April 2021

A Prospective Diet-Wide Association Study for Risk of Colorectal Cancer in EPIC.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Apr 24. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Epidemiology and Prevention Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background & Aims: Evidence regarding the association of dietary exposures with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk is not consistent with a few exceptions. Therefore, we conducted a diet-wide association study (DWAS) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) to evaluate the associations between several dietary exposures with CRC risk.

Methods: The association of 92 food and nutrient intakes with CRC risk was assessed in 386,792 participants, 5069 of whom developed incident CRC. Correction for multiple comparisons was performed using the false discovery rate, and emerging associations were examined in the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS). Multiplicative gene-nutrient interactions were also tested in EPIC based on known CRC-associated loci.

Results: In EPIC, alcohol, liquor/spirits, wine, beer/cider, soft drinks, and pork were positively associated with CRC, whereas milk, cheese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, beta carotene, fruit, fiber, nonwhite bread, banana, and total protein intakes were inversely associated. Of these 20 associations, 13 were replicated in the NLCS, for which a meta-analysis was performed, namely alcohol (summary hazard ratio [HR] per 1-SD increment in intake: 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.09), liquor/spirits (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06), wine (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07), beer/cider (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08), milk (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), cheese (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), calcium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), phosphorus (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), magnesium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.98), potassium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), riboflavin (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97), beta carotene (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), and total protein (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97). None of the gene-nutrient interactions were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm a positive association for alcohol and an inverse association for dairy products and calcium with CRC risk, and also suggest a lower risk at higher dietary intakes of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, beta carotene, and total protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.04.028DOI Listing
April 2021

Association of Migraine With Incident Hypertension After Menopause: A Longitudinal Cohort Study.

Neurology 2021 07 21;97(1):e34-e41. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

From Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP) (C.J.M., D.E.F., A.-L.M., G.S., M.-C.B.-R.), Institut Gustave Roussy, INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) U1018; Université Paris-Saclay (C.J.M., D.E.F., A.-L.M., G.S., M.-C.B.-R.), Université Paris-Sud, Villejuif; EA 2694-Santé Publique: Épidémiologie et Qualité des Soins (A.-L.M.), Université de Lille, CHU Lille, France; Deep Digital Phenotyping Research Unit, Department of Population Health (G.F.), Luxembourg Institute of Health, Strassen; Institute of Public Health Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin (T.K.), Germany; and Department of Statistics, Computer Science and Applications (DISIA) (G.S.), University of Florence, Italy.

Objective: Migraine has been identified as a potential risk factor for hypertension in prospective studies. In women, migraine prevalence decreases after menopause, but no studies have determined whether migraine is associated with hypertension after menopause. This study sought to determine whether history of migraine was associated with an increased risk of hypertension among menopausal women.

Methods: We assessed associations between migraine and hypertension in a longitudinal cohort study of 56,202 menopausal women participating in the French E3N cohort, with follow-up beginning in 1993. We included women who did not have hypertension or cardiovascular disease at the time of menopause. Migraine was classified as ever or never at each questionnaire cycle. Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate relations between migraine and hypertension, controlling for potential confounding. A secondary analysis with baseline in 2011 considered aura status, grouping participants reporting migraine as migraine with aura, migraine without aura, or unknown migraine type.

Results: During 826,419 person-years, 12,501 cases of incident hypertension were identified, including 3,100 among women with migraine and 9,401 among women without migraine. Migraine was associated with an increased risk of hypertension in menopausal women (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29 [95% confidence interval 1.24, 1.35]) and was consistent in post hoc sensitivity analyses, such as when controlling for common migraine medications. Associations between migraine and hypertension were similar whether or not women reported aura (HR 1.54 [1.04, 2.30], HR 1.32 [0.87, 2.02], heterogeneity 0.60). Associations were slightly stronger among ever users of menopausal hormone therapy (HR 1.34 [1.27, 1.41]) than among never users (HR 1.19 [1.11, 1.28]).

Conclusions: Migraine was associated with an increased risk of hypertension among menopausal women. In secondary analysis, we did not observe a significant difference between migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011986DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of Pre-diagnostic Antibody Responses to Escherichia coli and Bacteroides fragilis Toxin Proteins with Colorectal Cancer in a European Cohort.

Gut Microbes 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-14

Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, Ireland.

Experimental evidence has implicated genotoxic () and enterotoxigenic (ETBF) in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, evidence from epidemiological studies is sparse. We therefore assessed the association of serological markers of and ETBF exposure with odds of developing CRC in the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) study.Serum samples of incident CRC cases and matched controls (n = 442 pairs) were analyzed for immunoglobulin (Ig) A and G antibody responses to seven proteins and two isoforms of the ETBF toxin via multiplex serology. Multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of sero-positivity to and ETBF with CRC.The IgA-positivity of any of the tested antigens was associated with higher odds of developing CRC (OR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.05-1.91). Dual-positivity for both IgA and IgG to and ETBF was associated with >1.7-fold higher odds of developing CRC, with a significant association only for IgG (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.94). This association was more pronounced when restricted to the proximal colon cancers (OR: 2.62; 95% CI: 1.09, 6.29) compared to those of the distal colon (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 0.51, 3.00) (= 0.095). Sero-positivity to and ETBF was associated with CRC development, suggesting that co-infection of these bacterial species may contribute to colorectal carcinogenesis. These findings warrant further exploration in larger prospective studies and within different population groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2021.1903825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078709PMC
April 2021

Monitoring the proportion of the population infected by SARS-CoV-2 using age-stratified hospitalisation and serological data: a modelling study.

Lancet Public Health 2021 06 8;6(6):e408-e415. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, UMR2000, CNRS, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: Regional monitoring of the proportion of the population who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 is important to guide local management of the epidemic, but is difficult in the absence of regular nationwide serosurveys. We aimed to estimate in near real time the proportion of adults who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: In this modelling study, we developed a method to reconstruct the proportion of adults who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 and the proportion of infections being detected, using the joint analysis of age-stratified seroprevalence, hospitalisation, and case data, with deconvolution methods. We developed our method on a dataset consisting of seroprevalence estimates from 9782 participants (aged ≥20 years) in the two worst affected regions of France in May, 2020, and applied our approach to the 13 French metropolitan regions over the period March, 2020, to January, 2021. We validated our method externally using data from a national seroprevalence study done between May and June, 2020.

Findings: We estimate that 5·7% (95% CI 5·1-6·4) of adults in metropolitan France had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by May 11, 2020. This proportion remained stable until August, 2020, and increased to 14·9% (13·2-16·9) by Jan 15, 2021. With 26·5% (23·4-29·8) of adult residents having been infected in Île-de-France (Paris region) compared with 5·1% (4·5-5·8) in Brittany by January, 2021, regional variations remained large (coefficient of variation [CV] 0·50) although less so than in May, 2020 (CV 0·74). The proportion infected was twice as high (20·4%, 15·6-26·3) in 20-49-year-olds than in individuals aged 50 years or older (9·7%, 6·9-14·1). 40·2% (34·3-46·3) of infections in adults were detected in June to August, 2020, compared with 49·3% (42·9-55·9) in November, 2020, to January, 2021. Our regional estimates of seroprevalence were strongly correlated with the external validation dataset (coefficient of correlation 0·89).

Interpretation: Our simple approach to estimate the proportion of adults that have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can help to characterise the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection, epidemic dynamics, and the performance of surveillance in different regions.

Funding: EU RECOVER, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00064-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032222PMC
June 2021

Rare Germline Pathogenic Variants Identified by Multigene Panel Testing and the Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 24;13(7). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3168, Australia.

While gene panel sequencing is becoming widely used for cancer risk prediction, its clinical utility with respect to predicting aggressive prostate cancer (PrCa) is limited by our current understanding of the genetic risk factors associated with predisposition to this potentially lethal disease phenotype. This study included 837 men diagnosed with aggressive PrCa and 7261 controls (unaffected men and men who did not meet criteria for aggressive PrCa). Rare germline pathogenic variants (including likely pathogenic variants) were identified by targeted sequencing of 26 known or putative cancer predisposition genes. We found that 85 (10%) men with aggressive PrCa and 265 (4%) controls carried a pathogenic variant ( < 0.0001). Aggressive PrCa odds ratios (ORs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Increased risk of aggressive PrCa (OR (95% confidence interval)) was identified for pathogenic variants in (5.8 (2.7-12.4)), (5.5 (1.8-16.6)), and (3.8 (1.6-9.1)). Our study provides further evidence that rare germline pathogenic variants in these genes are associated with increased risk of this aggressive, clinically relevant subset of PrCa. These rare genetic variants could be incorporated into risk prediction models to improve their precision to identify men at highest risk of aggressive prostate cancer and be used to identify men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer who require urgent treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036662PMC
March 2021

Investigation of circulating metabolites associated with breast cancer risk by untargeted metabolomics: a case-control study nested within the French E3N cohort.

Br J Cancer 2021 May 15;124(10):1734-1743. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Université Paris-Saclay, UVSQ, Univ. Paris-Sud, Inserm, Gustave Roussy, Exposome and Heredity Team, Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France.

Background: Perturbations in circulating metabolites prior to a breast cancer diagnosis are not well characterised. We aimed to gain more detailed knowledge to help understand and prevent the disease.

Methods: Baseline plasma samples from 791 breast cancer cases and 791 matched controls from the E3N (EPIC-France) cohort were profiled by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based untargeted metabolomics. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) models were built from NMR profiles to predict disease outcome, and odds ratios and false discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted CIs were calculated for 43 identified metabolites by conditional logistic regression.

Results: Breast cancer onset was predicted in the premenopausal subgroup with modest accuracy (AUC 0.61, 95% CI: 0.49-0.73), and 10 metabolites associated with risk, particularly histidine (OR = 1.70 per SD increase, FDR-adjusted CI 1.19-2.41), N-acetyl glycoproteins (OR = 1.53, FDR-adjusted CI 1.18-1.97), glycerol (OR = 1.55, FDR-adjusted CI 1.11-2.18) and ethanol (OR = 1.44, FDR-adjusted CI 1.05-1.97). No predictive capacity or significant metabolites were found overall or for postmenopausal women.

Conclusions: Perturbed metabolism compared to controls was observed in premenopausal but not postmenopausal cases. Histidine and NAC have known involvement in inflammatory pathways, and the robust association of ethanol with risk suggests the involvement of alcohol intake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01304-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110540PMC
May 2021

Psychological distress in the academic population and its association with socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: Results from a large multicenter Italian study.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(3):e0248370. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Measures implemented in many countries to contain the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a change in lifestyle with unpredictable consequences on physical and mental health. We aimed at identifying the variables associated with psychological distress during the lockdown between April and May 2020 in the Italian academic population. We conducted a multicenter cross-sectional online survey (IO CONTO 2020) within five Italian universities. Among about 240,000 individuals invited to participate through institutional communications, 18 120 filled the questionnaire. Psychological distress was measured by the self-administered Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The covariates collected included demographic and lifestyle characteristics, trust in government, doctors and scientists. Associations of covariates with influenza-like symptoms or positive COVID-19 test and with psychological distress were assessed by multiple regression models at the local level; a meta-analysis of the results was then performed. Severe levels of anxiety or depression were reported by 20% of the sample and were associated with being a student or having a lower income, irrespective of their health condition and worries about contracting the virus. The probability of being severely anxious or depressed also depended on physical activity: compared to those never exercising, the highest OR being for those who stopped during lockdown (1.53; 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.84) and the lowest for those who continued (0.78; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.95). Up to 21% of severe cases of anxiety or depression might have been avoided if during lockdown participants had continued to exercise as before. Socioeconomic insecurity contributes to increase mental problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the measures to contain it. Maintaining or introducing an adequate level of physical activity is likely to mitigate such detrimental effects. Promoting safe practice of physical activity should remain a public health priority to reduce health risks during the pandemic.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248370PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946293PMC
April 2021

Causal Effects of Lifetime Smoking on Breast and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Mendelian Randomization Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 May 2;30(5):953-964. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Observational evidence has shown that smoking is a risk factor for breast and colorectal cancer. We used Mendelian randomization (MR) to examine causal associations between smoking and risks of breast and colorectal cancer.

Methods: Genome-Wide Association Study summary data were used to identify genetic variants associated with lifetime amount of smoking ( = 126 variants) and ever having smoked regularly ( = 112 variants). Using two-sample MR, we examined these variants in relation to incident breast (122,977 cases/105,974 controls) and colorectal cancer (52,775 cases/45,940 controls).

Results: In inverse-variance weighted models, a genetic predisposition to higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with breast cancer risk [OR per 1-SD increment: 1.13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.26; = 0.04]; although heterogeneity was observed. Similar associations were found for estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors. Higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with colorectal cancer (OR per 1-SD increment, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.04-1.40; = 0.01), colon cancer (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.11-1.55; < 0.01), and rectal cancer (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.07-1.73; = 0.01). Ever having smoked regularly was not associated with risks of breast (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.90-1.14; = 0.85) or colorectal cancer (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.86-1.10; = 0.68).

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with prior observational evidence and support a causal role of higher lifetime smoking amount in the development of breast and colorectal cancer.

Impact: The results from this comprehensive MR analysis indicate that lifetime smoking is a causal risk factor for these common malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1218DOI Listing
May 2021

Physical activity and stroke among women - A non-linear relationship.

Prev Med 2021 Sep 27;150:106485. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) U1018, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France. Electronic address:

Studies have identified non-linear inverse relationships between physical activity and the risk of stroke. A U-shaped response has been observed between haemorrhagic stroke and physical activity. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between physical activities on stroke. We used data from the E3N cohort study, a French prospective study of women initiated in 1990. From the women in the study, we included those without cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline, resulting in 94,169 women. We assessed total physical activity in 1993, grouped as quartiles. Cox models adjusted for potential confounders were used to assess the relationship with stroke, considering cases until 2008. Splines were used to assess the shape of the response. Similarly, we then considered high and low-intensity physical activity grouped as tertiles. Among the included women, with a mean age of 51.2 ± 6.7 years, 592 cases of stroke were identified over an average follow-up time of 16.2 years. Total physical activity was associated with a lower stroke risk (HR = 0.38 [0.31, 0.49]). An inverse relationship was observed between physical activity and all stroke sub-types. A non-linear (L-shaped) relationship was observed for all-stroke, and ischemic stroke, and a U-shaped response for sub-arachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage. High-intensity activities were associated with a U-shaped response for haemorrhagic stroke types. Low-intensity activities were associated with a linear response for all stroke types. Our results support other observations that physical activity may reduce stroke risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106485DOI Listing
September 2021

Household Cleaning and Poor Asthma Control Among Elderly Women.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 06 23;9(6):2358-2365.e4. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Université Paris-Saclay, UVSQ, Univ. Paris-Sud, Inserm, Équipe d'Épidémiologie respiratoire intégrative, CESP, Villejuif, France.

Background: Asthma control is suboptimal in nearly half of adults with asthma. Household exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products (DCP) has been associated with adverse respiratory effects, but data on their association with asthma control are scant.

Objectives: To investigate the association between household use of DCP and asthma control in a large cohort of French elderly women.

Methods: We used data from a case-control study on asthma (2011-2013) nested in the E3N cohort. Among 3023 women with current asthma, asthma control was defined by the Asthma Control Test (ACT). We used a standardized questionnaire to assess the frequency of cleaning tasks and DCP use. We also identified household cleaning patterns using a clustering approach. Associations between DCP and ACT were adjusted for age, smoking status, body mass index, and education.

Results: Data on ACT and DCP use were available for 2223 women (70 ± 6 years old). Asthma was controlled (ACT = 25), partly controlled (ACT = 20-24), and poorly controlled (ACT ≤ 19) in 29%, 46%, and 25% of the participants, respectively. Weekly use of sprays and chemicals was associated with poorly controlled asthma (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1 spray: 1.31 [0.94-1.84], ≥2 sprays: 1.65 [1.07-2.53], P trend: .01; 1 chemical: 1.24 [0.94-1.64], ≥2 chemicals: 1.47 [1.03-2.09], P trend: .02). Risk for poor asthma control increased with the patterns "very frequent use of products" (1.74 [1.13-2.70]) and "infrequent cleaning tasks and intermediate use of products" (1.62 [1.05-2.51]).

Conclusion: Regular use of DCP may contribute to poor asthma control in elderly women. Limiting their use may help improve asthma management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.02.022DOI Listing
June 2021

Red Blood Cell Fatty Acids and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 May 22;30(5):874-885. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that alterations of dietary fatty acid (FA) profiles are associated with colorectal cancer risk. However, data from large-scale epidemiologic studies using circulating FA measurements to objectively assess individual FA and FA categories are scarce.

Methods: We investigate the association between red blood cell (RBC) membrane FAs and risk of colorectal cancer in a case-control study nested within a large prospective cohort. After a median follow-up of 6.4 years, 1,069 incident colorectal cancer cases were identified and matched to 1,069 controls among participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The FA composition of RBC phospholipids (in mol%) was analyzed by gas chromatography, and their association with risk of colorectal cancer was estimated by multivariable adjusted conditional logistic regression models.

Results: After correction for multiple testing, subjects with higher concentrations of RBC stearic acid were at higher risk for colorectal cancer (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.07-1.42, per 1 mol%). Conversely, colorectal cancer incidence decreased with increasing proportions of RBC n-3 PUFA, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (0.75; 0.62-0.92, per 1 mol%). The findings for the n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid were inconsistent.

Conclusions: The positive association between prediagnostic RBC stearic acid and colorectal cancer reflects putative differences in FA intake and metabolism between cancer cases and matched controls, which deserve further investigation. The inverse relationship between EPA and colorectal cancer is in line with the repeatedly reported protective effect of fish consumption on colorectal cancer risk.

Impact: These findings add to the evidence on colorectal cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1426DOI Listing
May 2021

Incidence and risk factors of COVID-19-like symptoms in the French general population during the lockdown period: a multi-cohort study.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Feb 10;21(1):169. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

IRIS, Inserm/EHESS/CNRS, Aubervilliers, France.

Background: Our main objectives were to estimate the incidence of illnesses presumably caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection during the lockdown period and to identify the associated risk factors.

Methods: Participants from 3 adult cohorts in the general population in France were invited to participate in a survey on COVID-19. The main outcome was COVID-19-Like Symptoms (CLS), defined as a sudden onset of cough, fever, dyspnea, ageusia and/or anosmia, that lasted more than 3 days and occurred during the 17 days before the survey. We used delayed-entry Cox models to identify associated factors.

Results: Between April 2, 2020 and May 12, 2020, 279,478 participants were invited, 116,903 validated the questionnaire and 106,848 were included in the analysis. Three thousand thirty-five cases of CLS were reported during 62,099 person-months of follow-up. The cumulative incidences of CLS were 6.2% (95% Confidence Interval (95%CI): 5.7%; 6.6%) on day 15 and 8.8% (95%CI 8.3%; 9.2%) on day 45 of lockdown. The risk of CLS was lower in older age groups and higher in French regions with a high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in participants living in cities > 100,000 inhabitants (vs rural areas), when at least one child or adolescent was living in the same household, in overweight or obese people, and in people with chronic respiratory diseases, anxiety or depression or chronic diseases other than diabetes, cancer, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases.

Conclusion: The incidence of CLS in the general population remained high during the first 2 weeks of lockdown, and decreased significantly thereafter. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-05864-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875161PMC
February 2021

Lifetime alcohol intake, drinking patterns over time and risk of stomach cancer: A pooled analysis of data from two prospective cohort studies.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jun 22;148(11):2759-2773. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.

Alcohol consumption is causally linked to several cancers but the evidence for stomach cancer is inconclusive. In our study, the association between long-term alcohol intake and risk of stomach cancer and its subtypes was evaluated. We performed a pooled analysis of data collected at baseline from 491 714 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition and the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for incident stomach cancer in relation to lifetime alcohol intake and group-based life course intake trajectories, adjusted for potential confounders including Helicobacter pylori infection. In all, 1225 incident stomach cancers (78% noncardia) were diagnosed over 7 094 637 person-years; 984 in 382 957 study participants with lifetime alcohol intake data (5 455 507 person-years). Although lifetime alcohol intake was not associated with overall stomach cancer risk, we observed a weak positive association with noncardia cancer (HR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.00-1.06 per 10 g/d increment), with a HR of 1.50 (95% CI: 1.08-2.09) for ≥60 g/d compared to 0.1 to 4.9 g/d. A weak inverse association with cardia cancer (HR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87-1.00) was also observed. HRs of 1.48 (95% CI: 1.10-1.99) for noncardia and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.26-1.03) for cardia cancer were observed for a life course trajectory characterized by heavy decreasing intake compared to light stable intake (P = .02). These associations did not differ appreciably by smoking or H pylori infection status. Limiting alcohol use during lifetime, particularly avoiding heavy use during early adulthood, might help prevent noncardia stomach cancer. Heterogeneous associations observed for cardia and noncardia cancers may indicate etiologic differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33504DOI Listing
June 2021

Antiplatelet Drug Use and Breast Cancer Risk in a Prospective Cohort of Postmenopausal Women.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Apr 2;30(4):643-652. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Paris-Saclay University, UVSQ, Univ. Paris-Sud, Inserm, Gustave Roussy, "Exposome and Heredity" team, CESP, Villejuif, France.

Background: Epidemiologic evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions on the impact of low-dose aspirin use on breast cancer risk, and the potential impact of other antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel needs to be explored.

Methods: We investigated the association between breast cancer risk and low-dose aspirin or clopidogrel use in the E3N cohort, which includes 98,995 women, with information on breast cancer risk factors collected from biennial questionnaires matched with drug reimbursement data available from 2004. Women with at least two reimbursements of the drug of interest in any previous 3-month period were considered "ever" exposed. Exposure was considered as time-varying and multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate HRs of breast cancer.

Results: Among 62,512 postmenopausal women followed during 9 years on average, 2,864 breast cancer cases were identified. Compared with never use, a transient higher breast cancer risk was observed during the third year of low-dose aspirin use [HR = 1.49 (1.08-2.07)], followed by a lower risk [HR = 0.72 (0.52-0.99)]. Clopidogrel ever use was associated with a higher breast cancer risk [HR, 1.30 (1.02-1.68)], restricted to estrogen receptor negative (ER) tumors [HR = 1.14 (0.83-1.57), HR = 3.07 (1.64-5.76), = 0.01].

Conclusions: Low-dose aspirin was associated with a lower breast cancer risk only after several years of use, while ever use of clopidogrel was associated with a higher ER breast cancer risk.

Impact: Antiplatelet drugs are not good pharmacologic candidates for breast cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1292DOI Listing
April 2021

Do not neglect SARS-CoV-2 hospitalization and fatality risks in the middle-aged adult population.

Infect Dis Now 2021 Jun 18;51(4):380-382. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Sorbonne Université, Inserm, Institut Pierre-Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Département de Santé Publique, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, APHP, Paris, France.

Objectives: This study aimed at estimating the SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalization (IHR) and infection fatality ratios (IFR) in France.

Patients And Methods: A serosurvey was conducted in 9782 subjects from the two French regions with the highest incidence of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic and coupled with surveillance data.

Results: IHR and IFR were 2.7% and 0.49% overall. Both were higher in men and increased exponentially with age. The relative risks of hospitalization and death were 2.1 (95% CI: 1.9-2.3) and 3.8 (2.4-4.2) per 10-year increase, meaning that IHR and IFR approximately doubled every 10 and 5 years, respectively. They were dramatically high in the very elderly (80-90 years: IHR: 26%, IFR: 9.2%), and also substantial in younger adults (40-50 years: IHR: 0.98%, IFR: 0.042%).

Conclusions: These findings support the need for comprehensive preventive measures to help reduce the spread of the virus, even in young or middle-aged adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.idnow.2020.12.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836556PMC
June 2021

Risk of breast cancer associated with long-term exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) air pollution: Evidence from the French E3N cohort study.

Environ Int 2021 04 24;149:106399. Epub 2021 Jan 24.

Department of Prevention Cancer Environment, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; Inserm UMR 1296 Radiations : Défense, Santé, Environnement, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Background: Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is an endocrine-disrupting pollutant formed during incomplete combustion of organic materials. It has been recognized as a reproductive and developmental toxicant, however epidemiological evidence of the long-term effect of ambient air BaP on breast cancer (BC) is limited. Thus we evaluated associations between ambient air BaP exposure and risk of BC, overall and according to menopausal status and molecular subtypes (estrogen receptor negative/positive (ER-/ER+) and progesterone receptor negative/positive (PR-/PR+)), stage and grade of differentiation of BC in the French E3N cohort study.

Methods: Within a nested case-control study of 5222 incident BC cases and 5222 matched controls, annual BaP exposure was estimated using a chemistry-transport model (CHIMERE) and was assigned to the geocoded residential addresses of participants for each year during the 1990-2011 follow-up period. Multivariable conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Overall, cumulative airborne BaP exposure was significantly associated with the overall risk of BC, for each 1 interquartile range (IQR) increase in the concentration levels of BaP (1.42 ng/m), the OR = 1.15 (95% CI: 1.04-1.27). However, by menopausal status, the significant positive association remained only in women who underwent menopausal transition (i.e. premenopausal women at inclusion who became postmenopausal at diagnosis), OR per 1 IQR = 1.20 (95% CI: 1.03-1.40). By hormone receptor status, positive associations were observed for ER+, PR + and ER + PR + BC, with ORs = 1.17 (95% CI: 1.04-1.32), 1.16 (95% CI: 1.01-1.33), and 1.17 (95% CI: 1.01-1.36) per 1 IQR, respectively. There was also a borderline positive association between BaP and grade 3 BC (OR per 1 IQR = 1.15 (95% CI: 0.99-1.34).

Conclusions: We provide evidence of increased risk of BC associated with cumulative BaP exposure, which varied according to menopausal status, hormone receptor status, and grade of differentiation of BC. Our results add further epidemiological evidence to the previous experimental studies suggesting the adverse effects of BaP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106399DOI Listing
April 2021

Long-term atmospheric exposure to PCB153 and breast cancer risk in a case-control study nested in the French E3N cohort from 1990 to 2011.

Environ Res 2021 04 12;195:110743. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Prevention, Cancer and Environment, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; Inserm U1296, "Radiation: Defense, Health and Environment", Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Background: Although the genetic and hormonal risk factors of breast cancer are well identified, they cannot fully explain the occurrence of all cases. Epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested that exposure to environmental pollutants, especially those with potential estrogenic properties, as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may have a role in breast cancer development. Being the most abundantly detected in human tissues and in the environment, congener 153 (PCB153) is widely used in epidemiological studies as indicator for total PCBs exposure.

Objectives: We aimed to estimate the association between cumulative atmospheric exposure to PCB153 and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 5222 cases and 5222 matched controls nested within the French E3N cohort from 1990 to 2011. Annual atmospheric PCB153 concentrations were simulated with the deterministic chemistry-transport model (CHIMERE) and were assigned to women using their geocoded residential history. Their cumulative PCB153 exposure was calculated for each woman from their cohort inclusion to their index date. Breast cancer odds ratios (ORs) associated with cumulative PCB153 exposure and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated using multivariate conditional logistic regression models.

Results: Overall, our results showed a statistically significant linear increase in breast cancer risk related to cumulative atmospheric exposure to PCB153 as a continuous variable (adjusted OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.08-1.31, for an increment of one standard deviation among controls (55 pg/m)). Among women who became postmenopausal during follow-up, the association remained statistically significant (adjusted OR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.09-1.39). In analyses by hormone receptors status, the positive association remained significant only for ER-positive breast cancer (adjusted OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.05-1.33).

Discussion: This study is the first to have estimated the impact of atmospheric exposure to PCB153 on breast cancer risk. Our results showed a statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk, which may be limited to ER-positive breast cancer. These results warrant confirmation in further independent studies but raise the possibility that exposure to PCB153 increase breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110743DOI Listing
April 2021

Modeling multi-level survival data in multi-center epidemiological cohort studies: Applications from the ELAPSE project.

Environ Int 2021 02 12;147:106371. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Danish Cancer Society Research Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, Roskilde, Denmark.

Background: We evaluated methods for the analysis of multi-level survival data using a pooled dataset of 14 cohorts participating in the ELAPSE project investigating associations between residential exposure to low levels of air pollution (PM and NO) and health (natural-cause mortality and cerebrovascular, coronary and lung cancer incidence).

Methods: We applied five approaches in a multivariable Cox model to account for the first level of clustering corresponding to cohort specification: (1) not accounting for the cohort or using (2) indicator variables, (3) strata, (4) a frailty term in frailty Cox models, (5) a random intercept under a mixed Cox, for cohort identification. We accounted for the second level of clustering due to common characteristics in the residential area by (1) a random intercept per small area or (2) applying variance correction. We assessed the stratified, frailty and mixed Cox approach through simulations under different scenarios for heterogeneity in the underlying hazards and the air pollution effects.

Results: Effect estimates were stable under approaches used to adjust for cohort but substantially differed when no adjustment was applied. Further adjustment for the small area grouping increased the effect estimates' standard errors. Simulations confirmed identical results between the stratified and frailty models. In ELAPSE we selected a stratified multivariable Cox model to account for between-cohort heterogeneity without adjustment for small area level, due to the small number of subjects and events in the latter.

Conclusions: Our study supports the need to account for between-cohort heterogeneity in multi-center collaborations using pooled individual level data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106371DOI Listing
February 2021

Development and validation of a lifestyle-based model for colorectal cancer risk prediction: the LiFeCRC score.

BMC Med 2021 Jan 4;19(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Background: Nutrition and lifestyle have been long established as risk factors for colorectal cancer (CRC). Modifiable lifestyle behaviours bear potential to minimize long-term CRC risk; however, translation of lifestyle information into individualized CRC risk assessment has not been implemented. Lifestyle-based risk models may aid the identification of high-risk individuals, guide referral to screening and motivate behaviour change. We therefore developed and validated a lifestyle-based CRC risk prediction algorithm in an asymptomatic European population.

Methods: The model was based on data from 255,482 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study aged 19 to 70 years who were free of cancer at study baseline (1992-2000) and were followed up to 31 September 2010. The model was validated in a sample comprising 74,403 participants selected among five EPIC centres. Over a median follow-up time of 15 years, there were 3645 and 981 colorectal cancer cases in the derivation and validation samples, respectively. Variable selection algorithms in Cox proportional hazard regression and random survival forest (RSF) were used to identify the best predictors among plausible predictor variables. Measures of discrimination and calibration were calculated in derivation and validation samples. To facilitate model communication, a nomogram and a web-based application were developed.

Results: The final selection model included age, waist circumference, height, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, vegetables, dairy products, processed meat, and sugar and confectionary. The risk score demonstrated good discrimination overall and in sex-specific models. Harrell's C-index was 0.710 in the derivation cohort and 0.714 in the validation cohort. The model was well calibrated and showed strong agreement between predicted and observed risk. Random survival forest analysis suggested high model robustness. Beyond age, lifestyle data led to improved model performance overall (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.307 (95% CI 0.264-0.352)), and especially for young individuals below 45 years (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.364 (95% CI 0.084-0.575)).

Conclusions: LiFeCRC score based on age and lifestyle data accurately identifies individuals at risk for incident colorectal cancer in European populations and could contribute to improved prevention through motivating lifestyle change at an individual level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01826-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780676PMC
January 2021

Metabolic Signatures of Healthy Lifestyle Patterns and Colorectal Cancer Risk in a European Cohort.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Dec 29. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, Spain.

Background & Aims: Colorectal cancer risk can be lowered by adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guidelines. We derived metabolic signatures of adherence to these guidelines and tested their associations with colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer cohort.

Methods: Scores reflecting adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations (scale, 1-5) were calculated from participant data on weight maintenance, physical activity, diet, and alcohol among a discovery set of 5738 cancer-free European Prospective Investigation into Cancer participants with metabolomics data. Partial least-squares regression was used to derive fatty acid and endogenous metabolite signatures of the WCRF/AICR score in this group. In an independent set of 1608 colorectal cancer cases and matched controls, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were calculated for colorectal cancer risk per unit increase in WCRF/AICR score and per the corresponding change in metabolic signatures using multivariable conditional logistic regression.

Results: Higher WCRF/AICR scores were characterized by metabolic signatures of increased odd-chain fatty acids, serine, glycine, and specific phosphatidylcholines. Signatures were inversely associated more strongly with colorectal cancer risk (fatty acids: OR, 0.51 per unit increase; 95% CI, 0.29-0.90; endogenous metabolites: OR, 0.62 per unit change; 95% CI, 0.50-0.78) than the WCRF/AICR score (OR, 0.93 per unit change; 95% CI, 0.86-1.00) overall. Signature associations were stronger in male compared with female participants.

Conclusions: Metabolite profiles reflecting adherence to WCRF/AICR guidelines and additional lifestyle or biological risk factors were associated with colorectal cancer. Measuring a specific panel of metabolites representative of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle may identify strata of the population at higher risk of colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2020.11.045DOI Listing
December 2020

Long-term exposure to fine particle elemental components and lung cancer incidence in the ELAPSE pooled cohort.

Environ Res 2021 02 2;193:110568. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Statistics Denmark, Sejrøgade 11, 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark; Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1014, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:

Background: An association between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) and lung cancer has been established in previous studies. PM is a complex mixture of chemical components from various sources and little is known about whether certain components contribute specifically to the associated lung cancer risk. The present study builds on recent findings from the "Effects of Low-level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe" (ELAPSE) collaboration and addresses the potential association between specific elemental components of PM and lung cancer incidence.

Methods: We pooled seven cohorts from across Europe and assigned exposure estimates for eight components of PM representing non-tail pipe emissions (copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn)), long-range transport (sulfur (S)), oil burning/industry emissions (nickel (Ni), vanadium (V)), crustal material (silicon (Si)), and biomass burning (potassium (K)) to cohort participants' baseline residential address based on 100 m by 100 m grids from newly developed hybrid models combining air pollution monitoring, land use data, satellite observations, and dispersion model estimates. We applied stratified Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounders (age, sex, calendar year, marital status, smoking, body mass index, employment status, and neighborhood-level socio-economic status).

Results: The pooled study population comprised 306,550 individuals with 3916 incident lung cancer events during 5,541,672 person-years of follow-up. We observed a positive association between exposure to all eight components and lung cancer incidence, with adjusted HRs of 1.10 (95% CI 1.05, 1.16) per 50 ng/m PM K, 1.09 (95% CI 1.02, 1.15) per 1 ng/m PM Ni, 1.22 (95% CI 1.11, 1.35) per 200 ng/m PM S, and 1.07 (95% CI 1.02, 1.12) per 200 ng/m PM V. Effect estimates were largely unaffected by adjustment for nitrogen dioxide (NO). After adjustment for PM mass, effect estimates of K, Ni, S, and V were slightly attenuated, whereas effect estimates of Cu, Si, Fe, and Zn became null or negative.

Conclusions: Our results point towards an increased risk of lung cancer in connection with sources of combustion particles from oil and biomass burning and secondary inorganic aerosols rather than non-exhaust traffic emissions. Specific limit values or guidelines targeting these specific PM components may prove helpful in future lung cancer prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110568DOI Listing
February 2021

The use of silicone wristbands to evaluate personal exposure to semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) in France and Italy.

Environ Pollut 2020 Dec 10;267:115490. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States. Electronic address:

In this exploratory study, we measured for the first-time human exposure to about 90 semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) in France and Italy using silicone wristbands. Participants in France (n = 40) and in Italy (n = 31) wore a silicone wristband for five days during 2018 and 2019. Samples were analyzed for 39 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 10 novel brominated flame retardants (nBFRs), 25 organophosphate esters (OPEs), and 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In both groups, the most commonly detected chemicals were BDE-209, BEHTBP, tris[(2R)-1-chloro-2-propyl] phosphate (TCIPP), and phenanthrene among PBDEs, nBFRs, OPEs, and PAHs, respectively. The concentrations of ∑ PBDEs, ∑ nBFRs, ∑ OPEs, ∑ PAHs, and of most individual chemicals were generally significantly higher in samples from France than in those from Italy, except for BDE-209 and TCIPP. On a broader scale, the chemical concentrations were generally significantly lower in this study than those measured in the United States in previous studies using the same type of wristbands. Efforts to standardize the protocols for the use of silicone wristbands are still needed but this study shows that wristbands are capable of capturing regional differences in human exposure to a large variety of SVOCs and, therefore, can be used as personal exposure monitor for studies with global coverage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115490DOI Listing
December 2020