Publications by authors named "Jonathan N Hofmann"

108 Publications

Pesticide use and kidney function among farmers in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study.

Environ Res 2021 Aug 11;199:111276. Epub 2021 May 11.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Pesticides have been reported to be associated with malignant and non-malignant kidney disease. Few studies have examined the relationship between individual pesticides and kidney dysfunction.

Objective: We evaluated the associations of pesticide use with measured kidney function among male pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA) study, a subcohort in the Agricultural Health Study.

Methods: Serum creatinine was measured in 1545 BEEA participants and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated with the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation. Using reported information on lifetime use of 41 pesticides, multivariable linear and logistic regression was used to examine associations with eGFR modeled continuously and with CKD (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m), respectively. Models were adjusted for possible confounding factors related to kidney function and correlated pesticides.

Results: Lower eGFR was observed among pesticide applicators who ever used the herbicides pendimethalin (-3.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.8%, -1.5%), atrazine (-3.7%, 95% CI: 6.9%, -0.4%), and dicamba (-2.8%, 95% CI: 5.3%, -0.2%) compared with never users of each pesticide. Ever use of pendimethalin (odds ratio (OR)=1.6, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.2) and atrazine (OR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.0) was also associated with elevated odds of CKD, with an exposure-response association between intensity-weighted lifetime days of pendimethalin use and CKD among active farmers (N=1302; p=0.04). Atrazine use within the last year was associated with lower eGFR and elevated odds of CKD when compared with never users, and we observed exposure-response associations with intensity-weighted lifetime days among recent users. Use of several other pesticides was associated with higher eGFR.

Discussion: These results suggest that two widely used herbicides, pendimethalin and atrazine, may be associated with altered kidney function among pesticide applicators. Our findings for these herbicides are consistent with observed associations with end-stage renal disease in the Agricultural Health Study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111276DOI Listing
August 2021

Expression quantitative trait loci of genes predicting outcome are associated with survival of multiple myeloma patients.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jul 30;149(2):327-336. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Clinical Immunology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Gene expression profiling can be used for predicting survival in multiple myeloma (MM) and identifying patients who will benefit from particular types of therapy. Some germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) act as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) showing strong associations with gene expression levels. We performed an association study to test whether eQTLs of genes reported to be associated with prognosis of MM patients are directly associated with measures of adverse outcome. Using the genotype-tissue expression portal, we identified a total of 16 candidate genes with at least one eQTL SNP associated with their expression with P < 10 either in EBV-transformed B-lymphocytes or whole blood. We genotyped the resulting 22 SNPs in 1327 MM cases from the International Multiple Myeloma rESEarch (IMMEnSE) consortium and examined their association with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), adjusting for age, sex, country of origin and disease stage. Three polymorphisms in two genes (TBRG4-rs1992292, TBRG4-rs2287535 and ENTPD1-rs2153913) showed associations with OS at P < .05, with the former two also associated with PFS. The associations of two polymorphisms in TBRG4 with OS were replicated in 1277 MM cases from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology (InterLymph) Consortium. A meta-analysis of the data from IMMEnSE and InterLymph (2579 cases) showed that TBRG4-rs1992292 is associated with OS (hazard ratio = 1.14, 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.26, P = .007). In conclusion, we found biologically a plausible association between a SNP in TBRG4 and OS of MM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33547DOI Listing
July 2021

Spatial Heterogeneity in Positional Errors: A Comparison of Two Residential Geocoding Efforts in the Agricultural Health Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 9;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Geocoding is a powerful tool for environmental exposure assessments that rely on spatial databases. Geocoding processes, locators, and reference datasets have improved over time; however, improvements have not been well-characterized. Enrollment addresses for the Agricultural Health Study, a cohort of pesticide applicators and their spouses in Iowa (IA) and North Carolina (NC), were geocoded in 2012-2016 and then again in 2019. We calculated distances between geocodes in the two periods. For a subset, we computed positional errors using "gold standard" rooftop coordinates (IA; N = 3566) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS) (IA and NC; N = 1258) and compared errors between periods. We used linear regression to model the change in positional error between time periods (improvement) by rural status and population density, and we used spatial relative risk functions to identify areas with significant improvement. Median improvement between time periods in IA was 41 m (interquartile range, IQR: -2 to 168) and 9 m (IQR: -80 to 133) based on rooftop coordinates and GPS, respectively. Median improvement in NC was 42 m (IQR: -1 to 109 m) based on GPS. Positional error was greater in rural and low-density areas compared to in towns and more densely populated areas. Areas of significant improvement in accuracy were identified and mapped across both states. Our findings underscore the importance of evaluating determinants and spatial distributions of errors in geocodes used in environmental epidemiology studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915413PMC
February 2021

Lifetime Pesticide Use and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance in a Prospective Cohort of Male Farmers.

Environ Health Perspect 2021 Jan 6;129(1):17003. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Myeloma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Farmers have a higher incidence of multiple myeloma, and there is suggestive evidence of an elevated prevalence of its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), relative to the general population. Pesticide exposures are suspected to play a role; however, the biologic plausibility for associations with multiple myeloma remains unclear.

Objectives: Our objectives were to examine the prevalence of MGUS and evaluate associations with a wide range of pesticides in a large sample of farmers.

Methods: We obtained sera and assessed MGUS among 1,638 male farmers of age in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort in Iowa and North Carolina. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed to estimate associations with MGUS for recent use (within the 12 months before phlebotomy) and cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days of use of specific pesticides.

Results: The age-standardized MGUS prevalence was significantly elevated among AHS farmers (7.7%) compared with demographically similar men in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2.8%) or Olmsted County, Minnesota (3.8%; ). Recent use of permethrin was associated with MGUS [recent use vs. no recent use, (95% CI: 1.06, 3.13)], especially among those who had also used it in the past [recent and past use vs. never use, (95% CI: 1.32, 4.69)]. High intensity-weighted lifetime use of the organochlorine insecticides aldrin and dieldrin was associated with MGUS relative to those who never used either of these pesticides [ (95% CI: 1.29, 4.54); ]. We also observed a positive association with high lifetime use of petroleum oil/distillates as an herbicide, as well as an inverse association with fonofos use.

Discussion: This is the largest investigation of MGUS in farmers and the first to identify an association with MGUS for permethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide previously associated with multiple myeloma. Given the continued widespread use of permethrin in various residential and commercial settings, our findings may have important implications for exposed individuals in the general population. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6960.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP6960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787072PMC
January 2021

A Prospective Study of Circulating Chemokines and Angiogenesis Markers and Risk of Multiple Myeloma and Its Precursor.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2020 Apr 16;4(2):pkz104. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Experimental and clinical studies have implicated certain chemokines and angiogenic cytokines in multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis. To investigate whether systemic concentrations of these markers are associated with future MM risk and progression from its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), we conducted a prospective study within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.

Methods: We measured concentrations of 45 immunologic and pro-angiogenic markers in sera from 241 MM case patients, 441 participants with nonprogressing MGUS, and 258 MGUS-free control participants using Luminex-based multiplex assays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable logistic regression. We also evaluated absolute risk of progression using weighted Kaplan-Meier estimates. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Prediagnostic levels of six markers were statistically significantly elevated among MM case patients compared with MGUS-free control participants using a false discovery rate of 10% (EGF, HGF, Ang-2, CXCL12, CCL8, and BMP-9). Of these, three angiogenesis markers were associated with future progression from MGUS to MM: EGF (fourth vs first quartile: OR = 3.01, 95% CI = 1.61 to 5.63, = .00028), HGF (OR = 2.59, 95% CI = 1.33 to 5.03, = .015), and Ang-2 (OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.15 to 3.98, = .07). A composite angiogenesis biomarker score substantially stratified risk of MGUS progression to MM beyond established risk factors for progression, particularly during the first 5 years of follow-up (areas under the curve of 0.71 and 0.64 with and without the angiogenesis marker score, respectively).

Conclusions: Our prospective findings provide new insights into mechanisms involved in MM development and suggest that systemic angiogenesis markers could potentially improve risk stratification models for MGUS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkz104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083234PMC
April 2020

Pesticide exposure and incident thyroid cancer among male pesticide applicators in agricultural health study.

Environ Int 2021 01 27;146:106187. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: Many pesticides are known to have thyroid-disrupting properties. However, few studies have evaluated the association between specific pesticide ingredients and risk of thyroid cancer. We investigated self-reported pesticide use and incident thyroid cancer in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a large cohort of occupationally-exposed male pesticide applicators.

Methods: The AHS is a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. At enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005), participants reported use of 50 pesticides. We characterized exposure as ever use (44 pesticides with ≥5 exposed cases) and by cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days (22 pesticides with ≥10 exposed cases), a metric that accounts for factors that influence exposure. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Cox regression for incident thyroid (n = 85 cases) cancer among male participants using follow-up through 2014/2015.

Results: Use of the fungicide metalaxyl (HR = 2.03, CI:1.16-3.52) and the organochlorine insecticide lindane (HR = 1.74, CI:1.06-2.84) was associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer. The herbicide chlorimuron-ethyl was inversely associated with risk when we restricted to papillary thyroid cancer, the most common subtype (HR = 0.52, CI:0.28-0.96). High use of the insecticide carbaryl (>median intensity-weighted days) was inversely associated with thyroid cancer (HR = 0.20, CI:0.08-0.53, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: In this large cohort study, we observed increased risk of thyroid cancer associated with use of metalaxyl and lindane, and an inverse association with carbaryl. More work is needed to understand the potential role of these chemicals in thyroid carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106187DOI Listing
January 2021

Serum Concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May;113(5):580-587

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are highly persistent chemicals that have been detected in the serum of over 98% of the US population. Studies among highly exposed individuals suggest an association with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure and kidney cancer. It remains unclear whether PFOA or other PFAS are renal carcinogens or if they influence risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at concentrations observed in the general population.

Methods: We measured prediagnostic serum concentrations of PFOA and 7 additional PFAS in 324 RCC cases and 324 individually matched controls within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) relating serum PFAS concentrations and RCC risk. Individual PFAS were modeled continuously (log2-transformed) and categorically, with adjustment for kidney function and additional potential confounders. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: We observed a positive association with RCC risk for PFOA (doubling in serum concentration, ORcontinuous = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.23 to 2.37, P = .002) and a greater than twofold increased risk among those in the highest quartile vs the lowest (OR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.33 to 5.20, Ptrend = .007). The association with PFOA was similar after adjustment for other PFAS (ORcontinuous = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.63, P = .02) and remained apparent in analyses restricted to individuals without evidence of diminished kidney function and in cases diagnosed 8 or more years after phlebotomy.

Conclusions: Our findings add substantially to the weight of evidence that PFOA is a renal carcinogen and may have important public health implications for the many individuals exposed to this ubiquitous and highly persistent chemical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8096365PMC
May 2021

Pesticide use and incident Parkinson's disease in a cohort of farmers and their spouses.

Environ Res 2020 12 10;191:110186. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Extensive literature suggests an association between general pesticide use and Parkinson's disease (PD). However, with few exceptions, little is known about associations between specific pesticides and PD.

Objective: We evaluated use of pesticides and incident PD in 38,274 pesticide applicators and 27,836 of their spouses in the Agricultural Health Study cohort followed over 20 years.

Methods: We used self-reported information on ever-use of 50 specific pesticides as of enrollment for both applicators and spouses, and considered intensity-weighted lifetime days (IWLD) reported at enrollment and through the first 5-year follow-up among applicators. We estimated covariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Cox regression. We also examined heterogeneity in associations by history of head injury and chemical resistant glove use.

Results: A total of 373 applicators and 118 spouses self-reported incident doctor-diagnosed PD. Ever-use of the insecticide terbufos (HR:1.31, 95%CI:1.02-1.68) and the herbicides trifluralin (HR:1.29, 95%CI: 0.99-1.70) and 2,4,5-T (HR:1.57, 95%CI:1.21-2.04) was associated with elevated PD risk. On the other hand, diazinon (HR:0.73, 95%CI: 0.58-0.94) and 2,4,5-TP (HR:0.39, 95%CI:0.25-0.62) were associated with reduced risk. We observed heterogeneity in ever-use associations by head injury and chemical-resistant glove use for some pesticides, with higher risk among those who reported a history of head injury, or who did not use gloves. PD risk was also elevated for applicators in the highest category of IWLD for dichlorvos, permethrin (animal use), and benomyl.

Conclusions: We found evidence of increased PD risk for some pesticides. Our results also suggest higher susceptibility for pesticide-associated PD among individuals with head injury as well as protection with use of chemical resistant gloves, although further research is needed to understand the impact of head injury. Research on current and newer pesticides, including mechanisms relevant to PD, is important given widespread pesticide use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7822498PMC
December 2020

Diet and Risk of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms in Older Individuals from the NIH-AARP Cohort.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 11 31;29(11):2343-2350. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.

Background: The etiology of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) is obscure, and no previous studies have evaluated the role of diet.

Methods: In the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a prospective cohort of 463,049 participants ages 50 to 71 years at baseline (1995-1996), we identified 490 MPN cases after a median follow-up of 15.5 years, including 190 with polycythemia vera (PV) and 146 with essential thrombocythemia (ET). We examined possible associations between various dietary factors and the risk of MPN as a group, as well as PV and ET, using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and adjust for potential confounding variables.

Results: An increased risk was observed between fruit consumption and the risk of MPN overall (third tertile vs. first tertile, HR = 1.32; 95% CI, 1.04-1.67; = 0.02) and PV (third tertile vs. first tertile, HR = 2.00; 95% CI, 1.35-2.95; < 0.01). Increased risk of PV was also observed among those with high intake of sugar (HR = 1.77; 95% CI, 1.12-2.79), sugar from natural sources (HR = 1.77; 95% CI, 1.16-2.71), sugar from natural beverage sources (HR = 1.57; 95% CI, 1.08-2.29), and fructose (HR = 1.84; 95% CI, 1.21-2.79).

Conclusions: The intake of fat and protein did not appear to influence PV risk-neither did meat or vegetable consumption. None of the dietary factors studied was associated with the risk of ET. The role of sugar intake in the etiology of PV in older individuals warrants further investigation.

Impact: Our results indicate that high sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of polycythemia vera.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0592DOI Listing
November 2020

Occupational Pesticide Use and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma in the Agricultural Health Study.

Environ Health Perspect 2020 06 12;128(6):67011. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Background: Agricultural work and occupational pesticide use have been associated with increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. However, few prospective studies have investigated links to specific pesticides.

Objective: We evaluated the lifetime use of individual pesticides and the incidence of RCC.

Methods: We evaluated the associations between intensity-weighted lifetime days (IWDs) of 38 pesticides and incident RCC in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. Among 55,873 applicators, 308 cases were diagnosed between enrollment (1993-1997) and the end of follow-up (2014-2015). We estimated incidence rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Poisson regression, controlling for potential confounding factors, with lagged and unlagged pesticide exposures.

Results: There was a statistically significant increased risk of RCC among the highest users of 2,4,5-T compared with never users [unlagged (95% CI: 1.65, 5.17; )], with similar risk estimates for lagged exposure [20-y lag (95% CI: 1.83, 6.22; )]. In 20-y lagged analyses, we also found exposure-response associations with chlorpyrifos [ (95% CI: 1.05, 2.70; )], chlordane [ (95% CI: 1.10, 3.87; )], atrazine [ (95% CI: 1.00, 2.03; )], cyanazine [ (95% CI: 1.03, 2.50; )], and paraquat [ (95% CI: 1.03, 3.70; )].

Conclusions: This is, to our knowledge, the first prospective study to evaluate RCC risk in relation to various pesticides. We found evidence of associations with RCC for four herbicides (2,4,5-T, atrazine, cyanazine, and paraquat) and two insecticides (chlorpyrifos and chlordane). Our findings provide insights into specific chemicals that may influence RCC risk among pesticide applicators. Confirmation of these findings and investigations of the biologic plausibility and potential mechanisms underlying the observed associations are warranted. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6334.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP6334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292387PMC
June 2020

Coinherited genetics of multiple myeloma and its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

Blood Adv 2020 06;4(12):2789-2797

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

So far, 23 germline susceptibility loci have been associated with multiple myeloma (MM) risk. It is unclear whether the genetic variation associated with MM susceptibility also predisposes to its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Leveraging 2434 MM cases, 754 MGUS cases, and 2 independent sets of controls (2567/879), we investigated potential shared genetic susceptibility of MM and MGUS by (1) performing MM and MGUS genome-wide association studies (GWAS); (2) validating the association of a polygenic risk score (PRS) based on 23 established MM loci (MM-PRS) with risk of MM, and for the first time with MGUS; and (3) examining genetic correlation of MM and MGUS. Heritability and genetic estimates yielded 17% (standard error [SE] ±0.04) and 15% (SE ±0.11) for MM and MGUS risk, respectively, and a 55% (SE ±0.30) genetic correlation. The MM-PRS was associated with risk of MM when assessed continuously (odds ratio [OR], 1.17 per SD; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.21) or categorically (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.38-2.09 for highest; OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.55-0.90 for lowest compared with middle quintile). The MM-PRS was similarly associated with MGUS (OR, 1.19 per SD; 95% CI, 1.14-1.26 as a continuous measure, OR, 1.77, 95%CI: 1.29-2.43 for highest and OR, 0.70, 95%CI: 0.50-0.98 for lowest compared with middle quintile). MM and MGUS associations did not differ by age, sex, or MM immunoglobulin isotype. We validated a 23-SNP MM-PRS in an independent series of MM cases and provide evidence for its association with MGUS. Our results suggest shared common genetic susceptibility to MM and MGUS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322948PMC
June 2020

Exogenous hormone use, reproductive factors and risk of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma among women: results from cohort studies in the Liver Cancer Pooling Project and the UK Biobank.

Br J Cancer 2020 07 7;123(2):316-324. Epub 2020 May 7.

Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.

Background: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) arises from cholangiocytes in the intrahepatic bile duct and is the second most common type of liver cancer. Cholangiocytes express both oestrogen receptor-α and -β, and oestrogens positively modulate cholangiocyte proliferation. Studies in women and men have reported higher circulating oestradiol is associated with increased ICC risk, further supporting a hormonal aetiology. However, no observational studies have examined the associations between exogenous hormone use and reproductive factors, as proxies of endogenous hormone levels, and risk of ICC.

Methods: We harmonised data from 1,107,498 women who enroled in 12 North American-based cohort studies (in the Liver Cancer Pooling Project, LCPP) and the UK Biobank between 1980-1998 and 2006-2010, respectively. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to generate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence internals (CI). Then, meta-analytic techniques were used to combine the estimates from the LCPP (n = 180 cases) and the UK Biobank (n = 57 cases).

Results: Hysterectomy was associated with a doubling of ICC risk (HR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.27-3.09), compared to women aged 50-54 at natural menopause. Long-term oral contraceptive use (9+ years) was associated with a 62% increased ICC risk (HR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.03-2.55). There was no association between ICC risk and other exogenous hormone use or reproductive factors.

Conclusions: This study suggests that hysterectomy and long-term oral contraceptive use may be associated with an increased ICC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-0835-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7374167PMC
July 2020

Dicamba use and cancer incidence in the agricultural health study: an updated analysis.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 08;49(4):1326-1337

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: The herbicide dicamba has been commonly used agriculturally and residentially. Recent approval of genetically engineered dicamba-resistant crops is expected to lead to increased dicamba use, and there has been growing interest in potential human health effects. A prior analysis in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) suggested associations between dicamba and colon and lung cancer. We re-evaluated dicamba use in the AHS, including an additional 12 years and 2702 exposed cancers.

Methods: The AHS is a prospective cohort of pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. At enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005), participants reported dicamba use. Exposure was characterized by cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days, including exposure lags of up to 20 years. We estimated relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using multivariable Poisson regression for incident cancers diagnosed from enrollment through 2014/2015.

Results: Among 49 922 applicators, 26 412 (52.9%) used dicamba. Compared with applicators reporting no dicamba use, those in the highest quartile of exposure had elevated risk of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer (nexposed = 28, RRQ4 = 1.80, CI: 1.26-2.56, Ptrend < 0.001) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL, nexposed = 93, RRQ4 = 1.20, CI: 0.96-1.50, Ptrend = 0.01) and decreased risk of myeloid leukaemia (nexposed = 55, RRQ4 = 0.73, CI: 0.51-1.03, Ptrend = 0.01). The associations for liver cancer and myeloid leukaemia remained after lagging exposure of up to 20 years.

Conclusions: With additional follow-up and exposure information, associations with lung and colon cancer were no longer apparent. In this first evaluation of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, there was an association with increasing use of dicamba that persisted across lags of up to 20 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7660157PMC
August 2020

Characterization of inhalable endotoxin, glucan, and dust exposures in Iowa farmers.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2020 07 17;228:113525. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States. Electronic address:

Background: The observed deficit of lung cancer in farmers has been partly attributed to exposure to organic dusts and endotoxins based largely on surrogate metrics. To move beyond these surrogates for etiological studies, we characterized task-based and time-weighted average (TWA) exposure to inhalable endotoxin, (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan, and dust in Iowa farmers.

Methods: We collected 320 personal inhalable dust samples from 32 farmers during 69 sample days in 2015 and 2016. Samples were collected using Button aerosol samplers and analyzed for endotoxin using a kinetic chromogenic amebocyte lysate assay, and for (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan using a Limulus endpoint assay. We assessed relationships between bioaerosol concentrations and selected tasks and farm characteristics using linear mixed-effects models.

Results: Bedding work, hog handling, and working in barn/confinement buildings, grain bins, and grain elevators were associated with higher endotoxin exposure. We found a monotonic trend between higher endotoxin concentrations and increasing number of animals. Bedding work, cleaning, and feed/grain storage work were associated with higher (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan concentrations. The median concentrations by task spanned one order of magnitude for inhalable dust and two orders of magnitude for endotoxin and (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan. Pearson correlations between endotoxin and glucan concentrations were 0.22 for TWA exposure and 0.56 for task samples.

Conclusions: This characterization of exposure factors that influence bioaerosol concentrations can support the development of refined bioaerosol exposure metrics for future etiologic analyses of cancer and other health outcomes in farmers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010939PMC
July 2020

Diesel Exhaust Exposure during Farming Activities: Statistical Modeling of Continuous Black Carbon Concentrations.

Ann Work Expo Health 2020 06;64(5):503-513

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Objectives: Daily driving of diesel-powered tractors has been linked to increased lung cancer risk in farmers, yet few studies have quantified exposure levels to diesel exhaust during tractor driving or during other farm activities. We expanded an earlier task-based descriptive investigation of factors associated with real-time exposure levels to black carbon (BC, a surrogate of diesel exhaust) in Iowa farmers by increasing the sample size, collecting repeated measurements, and applying statistical models adapted to continuous measurements.

Methods: The expanded study added 43 days of sampling, for a total of 63 sample days conducted in 2015 and 2016 on 31 Iowa farmers. Real-time, continuous monitoring (30-s intervals) of personal BC concentrations was performed using a MicroAeth AE51 microaethelometer affixed with a micro-cyclone. A field researcher recorded information on tasks, fuel type, farmer location, and proximity to burning biomass. We evaluated the influence of these variables on log-transformed BC concentrations using a linear mixed-effect model with random effects for farmer and day and a first-order autoregressive structure for within-day correlation.

Results: Proximity to diesel-powered equipment was observed for 42.5% of the overall sampling time and on 61 of the 63 sample days. Predicted geometric mean BC concentrations were highest during grain bin work, loading, and harvesting, and lower for soil preparation and planting. A 68% increase in BC concentrations was predicted for close proximity to a diesel-powered vehicle, relative to far proximity, while BC concentrations were 44% higher in diesel vehicles with open cabins compared with closed cabins. Task, farmer location, fuel type, and proximity to burning biomass explained 8% of within-day variance in BC concentrations, 2% of between-day variance, and no between-farmer variance.

Conclusion: Our findings showed that farmers worked frequently near diesel equipment and that BC concentrations varied between tasks and by fuel type, farmer location, and proximity to burning biomass. These results could support the development of exposure models applicable to investigations of health effects in farmers associated with exposure to diesel engine exhaust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxaa032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7313260PMC
June 2020

Residential Proximity to Intensive Animal Agriculture and Risk of Lymphohematopoietic Cancers in the Agricultural Health Study.

Epidemiology 2020 07;31(4):478-489

From the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

Background: Although occupational exposure to animals has been associated with lymphohematopoietic malignancies, to our knowledge no studies have evaluated adult cancer risks associated with living near intensive animal agriculture.

Methods: We linked participants in the prospective Agricultural Health Study to permitted animal feeding operations in Iowa. We created metrics reflecting the intensity of animal exposures within 2 and 5 km of participants' residences, enumerating both total and inverse distance-weighted animal units (AUs), standardized by animal size and manure production. We estimated risk of lymphohematopoietic malignancies and subtypes [hazard ratio (HR), 95% confidence interval (95% CI)], adjusting for demographic and farming-related factors, including occupational pesticide exposure. We stratified associations by animal type and animal-related work activities.

Results: We observed 519 cases (1993-2015) among 32,635 pesticide applicators and 211 cases among 19,743 spouses. Among applicators, no associations were evident within 2 km, but risk of any lymphohematopoietic cancer was elevated across quintiles of weighted AUs within 5 km. Risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) was elevated for the second (HR = 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1, 2.1), third (HR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1, 2.2), and fourth (HR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3, 2.4) highest quintiles of weighted AUs within 5 km (Ptrend = 0.52) and increased with dairy cattle AUs (Ptrend = 0.04). We found positive trends for leukemia and some NHL subtypes with increasing numbers of both beef and dairy cattle. Risks did not vary by animal-related work (Pinteraction = 0.61). Associations were similar using the total exposure metric and inconsistent among spouses.

Conclusion: Residential proximity to intensive animal agriculture was positively associated with risk of NHL and leukemia, even after consideration of occupational animal and pesticide exposures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7889404PMC
July 2020

Reply to comments on: Lifestyles and myeloproliferative neoplasms with special reference to coffee consumption.

Int J Cancer 2020 06 30;146(12):3523. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32974DOI Listing
June 2020

Pesticide exposure and risk of aggressive prostate cancer among private pesticide applicators.

Environ Health 2020 03 5;19(1):30. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among men in developed countries; however, little is known about modifiable risk factors. Some studies have implicated organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides as risk factors (particularly the organodithioate class) and risk of clinically significant PCa subtypes. However, few studies have evaluated other pesticides. We used data from the Agricultural Health Study, a large prospective cohort of pesticide applicators in North Carolina and Iowa, to extend our previous work and evaluate 39 additional pesticides and aggressive PCa.

Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards models, with age as the time scale, to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between ever use of individual pesticides and 883 cases of aggressive PCa (distant stage, poorly differentiated grade, Gleason score ≥ 7, or fatal prostate cancer) diagnosed between 1993 and 2015. All models adjusted for birth year, state, family history of PCa, race, and smoking status. We conducted exposure-response analyses for pesticides with reported lifetime years of use.

Results: There was an increased aggressive PCa risk among ever users of the organodithioate insecticide dimethoate (n = 54 exposed cases, HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.80) compared to never users. We observed an inverse association between aggressive PCa and the herbicide triclopyr (n = 35 exposed cases, HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.48, 0.95), with the strongest inverse association for those reporting durations of use above the median (≥ 4 years; n = 13 exposed cases, HR=0.44, 95% CI=0.26, 0.77).

Conclusion: Few additional pesticides were associated with prostate cancer risk after evaluation of extended data from this large cohort of private pesticide applicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-020-00583-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059337PMC
March 2020

Assessing Endogenous and Exogenous Hormone Exposures and Breast Development in a Migrant Study of Bangladeshi and British Girls.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 02 13;17(4). Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Timing of breast development (or thelarche) and its endogenous and exogenous determinants may underlie global variation in breast cancer incidence. The study objectives were to characterize endogenous estrogen levels and bisphenol A (BPA) exposure using a migrant study of adolescent girls and test whether concentrations explained differences in thelarche by birthplace and growth environment. Estrogen metabolites (EM) and BPA-glucuronide (BPA-G) were quantified in urine spot samples using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) from a cross-sectional study of Bangladeshi, first- and second-generation Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, and white British girls aged 5-16 years ( = 348). Thelarche status at the time of interview was self-reported and defined equivalent to Tanner Stage ≥2. We compared geometric means (and 95% confidence interval (CIs)) of EM and BPA-G using linear regression and assessed whether EM and BPA-G explained any of the association between exposure to the UK and the age at thelarche using hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Average EM decreased with exposure to the UK, whereas BPA-G increased and was significantly higher among white British (0.007 ng/mL, 95% CI: 0.0024-0.0217) and second-generation British-Bangladeshi girls (0.009 ng/mL, 95% CI: 0.0040-0.0187) compared to Bangladeshi girls (0.002 ng/mL, 95% CI: 0.0018-0.0034). Two of four EM ratios (16-pathway/parent and parent/all pathways) were significantly associated with thelarche. The relationship between exposure to the UK and thelarche did not change appreciably after adding EM and BPA-G to the models. While BPA-G is often considered a ubiquitous exposure, our findings suggest it can vary based on birthplace and growth environment, with increasing levels for girls who were born in or moved to the UK. Our study did not provide statistically significant evidence that BPA-G or EM concentrations explained earlier thelarche among girls who were born or raised in the UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068451PMC
February 2020

Lifestyle factors and risk of myeloproliferative neoplasms in the NIH-AARP diet and health study.

Int J Cancer 2020 08 29;147(4):948-957. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT.

The etiology of Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) is largely unknown. We assessed potential associations between lifestyle factors and MPN risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. In this prospective cohort with 463,049 participants aged 50-71 years at baseline (1995-1996) and a median follow-up of 15.5 years, we identified 490 MPN cases, including 190 with polycythemia vera (PV) and 146 with essential thrombocythemia (ET). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Smoking was not associated with MPN risk in the overall cohort, but analyses stratified by sex suggested that smoking increased the risk of MPN in women (former smoker vs. nonsmokers, HR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.03-2.00, p = 0.03; current smokers vs. nonsmokers, HR = 1.71, 95% CI: 1.08-2.71, p = 0.02). Coffee consumption was inversely associated with the risk of PV (high vs. low intake, HR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.33-0.84, p-trend < 0.01), but not the risk of ET or MPN overall. Further analysis revealed an inverse association between the amount of caffeine intake and PV risk (high vs. low intake, HR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.39-0.79, p-trend < 0.01). While the consumption of caffeinated coffee appeared to confer a protective effect against PV, the consumption of decaffeinated coffee did not. This large prospective study identified smoking as a risk factor for MPN in women and suggests that caffeine intake is associated with a lower risk of PV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32853DOI Listing
August 2020

Associations Between Prediagnostic Concentrations of Circulating Sex Steroid Hormones and Liver Cancer Among Postmenopausal Women.

Hepatology 2020 08;72(2):535-547

Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore.

Background And Aims: In almost all countries, incidence rates of liver cancer (LC) are 100%-200% higher in males than in females. However, this difference is predominantly driven by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which accounts for 75% of LC cases. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) accounts for 12% of cases and has rates only 30% higher in males. Hormones are hypothesized to underlie observed sex differences. We investigated whether prediagnostic circulating hormone and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels were associated with LC risk, overall and by histology, by leveraging resources from five prospective cohorts.

Approach And Results: Seven sex steroid hormones and SHBG were quantitated using gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry and competitive electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, respectively, from baseline serum/plasma samples of 191 postmenopausal female LC cases (HCC, n = 83; ICC, n = 56) and 426 controls, matched on sex, cohort, age, race/ethnicity, and blood collection date. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between a one-unit increase in log hormone value (approximate doubling of circulating concentration) and LC were calculated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. A doubling in the concentration of 4-androstenedione (4-dione) was associated with a 50% decreased LC risk (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.30-0.82), whereas SHBG was associated with a 31% increased risk (OR = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.05-1.63). Examining histology, a doubling of estradiol was associated with a 40% increased risk of ICC (OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.05-1.89), but not HCC (OR = 1.12; 95% CI = 0.81-1.54).

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that higher levels of 4-dione may be associated with lower, and SHBG with higher, LC risk in women. However, this study does not support the hypothesis that higher estrogen levels decrease LC risk. Indeed, estradiol may be associated with an increased ICC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.31057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391790PMC
August 2020

Understanding racial disparities in renal cell carcinoma incidence: estimates of population attributable risk in two US populations.

Cancer Causes Control 2020 Jan 28;31(1):85-93. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Purpose: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) incidence is higher among black than white Americans. The reasons for this disparity remain unclear.

Methods: We calculated race- and sex-specific population attributable risk percentages (PAR%) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD) among black and white subjects ≥  50 years of age from the US Kidney Cancer Study (USKC; 965 cases, 953 controls), a case-control study in Chicago and Detroit, and a nested case-control study in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care network (KPNC; 2,162 cases, 21,484 controls). We also estimated PAR% for other modifiable RCC risk factors (cigarette smoking, obesity) in USKC.

Results: In USKC, the PAR% for hypertension was 50% (95% CI 24-77%) and 44% (95% CI 25-64%) among black women and men, respectively, and 29% (95% CI 13-44%) and 27% (95% CI 14-39%) for white women and men, respectively. In KPNC, the hypertension PAR% was 40% (95% CI 18-62%) and 23% (95% CI 2-44%) among black women and men, and 27% (95% CI 20-35%) and 19% (95% CI 14-24%) among white women and men, respectively. The PAR% for CKD in both studies ranged from 7 to 10% for black women and men but was negligible (<1%) for white subjects. In USKC, the PAR% for current smoking was 20% and 8% among black and white men, respectively, and negligible and 8.6% for black and white women, respectively. The obesity PAR% ranged from 12 to 24% across all race/sex strata.

Conclusions: If the associations found are causal, interventions that prevent hypertension and CKD among black Americans could potentially eliminate the racial disparity in RCC incidence (hypothetical black:white RCC incidence ratio of 0.5).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01248-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7717618PMC
January 2020

Abdominal and gluteofemoral size and risk of liver cancer: The liver cancer pooling project.

Int J Cancer 2020 08 23;147(3):675-685. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Behavioral and Epidemiology Research Group, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA.

Obesity is known to be associated with primary liver cancer (PLC), but the separate effects of excess abdominal and gluteofemoral size are unclear. Thus, we examined the association between waist and hip circumference with risk of PLC overall and by histologic type-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). The Liver Cancer Pooling Project is a consortium of prospective cohort studies that include data from 1,167,244 individuals (PLC n = 2,208, HCC n = 1,154, ICC n = 335). Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using proportional hazards regression. Waist circumference, per 5 cm increase, was associated with an 11% increased PLC risk (HR = 1.11, 95%CI: 1.09-1.14), including when adjusted for hip circumference (HR = 1.12, 95%CI: 1.08-1.17) and also when restricted to individuals in a normal body mass index (BMI) range (18.5 to <25 kg/m ; HR = 1.14, 95%CI: 1.07-1.21). Hip circumference, per 5 cm increase, was associated with a 9% increased PLC risk (HR = 1.09, 95%CI: 1.06-1.12), but no association remained after adjustment for waist circumference (HR = 0.99, 95%CI: 0.94-1.03). HCC and ICC results were similar. These findings suggest that excess abdominal size is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer, even among individuals considered to have a normal BMI. However, excess gluteofemoral size alone confers no increased risk. Our findings extend prior analyses, which found an association between excess adiposity and risk of liver cancer, by disentangling the separate effects of excess abdominal and gluteofemoral size through utilization of both waist and hip circumference measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32760DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391795PMC
August 2020

Overall and cause-specific mortality in a cohort of farmers and their spouses.

Occup Environ Med 2019 09;76(9):632-643

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Objectives: Lower mortality rates compared with the general population have been reported for Agricultural Health Study (AHS) participants (enrolled 1993-1997) followed through 2007. We extended analysis of mortality among AHS participants (51 502 private pesticide applicators, their 31 867 spouses and 4677 commercial pesticide applicators from North Carolina and Iowa) through 2015 and compared results using several analytical approaches.

Methods: We calculated standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), causal mortality ratios (CMR) and relative SMRs (rSMR) using state-specific mortality rates of the general populations as the referent.

Results: Over the average 16 years of follow-up (1999-2015), 9305 private applicators, 3384 spouses and 415 commercial applicators died. SMRs and CMRs, with expected deaths calculated using the person-time among the cohort and the general population, respectively, indicated lower overall mortality in all study subgroups (SMRs from 0.61 to 0.69 and CMRs from 0.74 to 0.89), although CMRs indicated elevated mortality in private applicators from North Carolina and in ever-smokers. In SMR analyses, there were fewer than expected deaths from many causes, but deaths from some external causes including transportation-related injuries and mechanical forces were elevated in private applicators. CMRs indicated higher than expected deaths from prostate cancer, lymphohaematopoietic cancers, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and chronic glomerulonephritis in private applicators, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in spouses (from 1.19 to 1.53). rSMR results were generally elevated, similar to CMR findings.

Conclusions: AHS participants experienced lower overall mortality than the general population.Mortality from a few specific causes was increased in private applicators, specifically when CMR and rSMR approaches were used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2019-105724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803095PMC
September 2019

Lifetime Pesticide Use and Antinuclear Antibodies in Male Farmers From the Agricultural Health Study.

Front Immunol 2019 11;10:1476. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States.

Farming and pesticide use have been associated with systemic autoimmune diseases, and while certain organochlorine insecticides and other pesticides are suspected to influence risk, the role of specific pesticides in the development of systemic autoimmunity is not known. We measured serum antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) by immunofluorescence on Hep-2 cells in 668 male farmers in the study of Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA; 2010-2013), an Agricultural Health Study (AHS) subcohort. We examined ANA in relation to lifetime use of 46 pesticides first reported at AHS enrollment (1993-1997) and updated at intervals through BEEA enrollment. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated after adjusting for age, state, education, season of blood draw, current pesticide use, and correlated pesticides. Having ANA antibodies (3 or 4+ intensity at a 1:80 dilution, 21% of study participants) was associated with a reported history of seeking medical care due to exposure to pesticides (OR 2.15; 95%CI 1.17, 3.95), use of the fumigant methyl bromide (OR 3.16; 95%CI 1.05, 9.5), and use of petroleum oil/distillates (OR 1.50; 95%CI 1.00, 2.25). Using a higher threshold (3 or 4+ at a 1:160 dilution, 9%) ANA positivity was associated with the carbamate insecticide aldicarb (OR 4.82; 95%CI 1.33, 17.5) and greater combined use of four cyclodiene organochlorine insecticides (top tertile of intensity-weighted lifetime days vs. no use; OR 3.20; 95%CI 1.10, 9.27). By contrast, greater use of non-cyclodiene organochlorine insecticides was inversely associated with ANA (1:80 dilution 3 or 4+, OR 0.24; 95%CI 0.08, 0.72). Specific autoantibodies (to extractable nuclear antigens and anti-dsDNA), measured on those with ANA detected at the 1:80 dilution 3 or 4+, were seen in 15 individuals (2%), and were associated with use of two or more cyclodiene organochlorine insecticides and several other pesticides (e.g., carbofuran, ethylene dibromide). These findings suggest that specific pesticide exposures may have long-term effects on ANA prevalence and support the hypothesis that certain organochlorine insecticides may increase the risk of developing systemic autoimmunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01476DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6637299PMC
October 2020

Association of Immune Marker Changes With Progression of Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance to Multiple Myeloma.

JAMA Oncol 2019 Sep;5(9):1293-1301

Myeloma Section, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Malmo, Malmo, Sweden.

Importance: Multiple myeloma is consistently preceded by monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Risk models that estimate the risk of progression from MGUS to multiple myeloma use data from a single time point, usually the initial workup.

Objective: To longitudinally investigate the alterations of serum immune markers with stable vs progressive MGUS.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cross-sectional cohort study included 77 469 adult participants aged 55 to 74 years in the screening arm of the National Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial who had a diagnosis of progressing MGUS (n = 187) or stable MGUS (n = 498), including light-chain subtype, from November 1993, through December 2011. For each participant, all available serially stored prediagnostic serum samples (N = 3266) were obtained. Data analysis was performed from April 2018, to December 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Serum protein and monoclonal immunoglobulin levels, serum free light chains, and serum light chains within each immunoglobulin class were measured.

Results: Of 685 individuals included in the study, 461 (67.3%) were men; the mean (SD) age was 69.1 (5.6) years. In cross-sectional modeling, risk factors associated with progressive MGUS were IgA isotype (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.80; 95% CI, 1.03-3.13; P = .04), 15 g/L or more monoclonal spike (adjusted OR, 23.5; 95% CI, 8.9-61.9; P < .001), skewed (<0.1 or >10) serum free light chains ratio (adjusted OR, 46.4; 95% CI, 18.4-117.0; P < .001), and severe immunoparesis (≥2 suppressed uninvolved immunoglobulins) (adjusted OR, 19.1; 95% Cl, 7.5-48.3; P < .001). Risk factors associated with progressive light-chain MGUS were skewed serum free light chains ratio (adjusted OR, 44.0; 95% CI, 14.2-136.3; P < .001) and severe immunoparesis (adjusted OR, 48.6; 95% CI, 9.5-248.2; P < .001). In longitudinal analysis of participants with serial samples prior to progression, 23 of 43 participants (53%) had high-risk MGUS before progression; 16 of these 23 (70%) experienced conversion from low-risk or intermediate-risk MGUS within 5 years. Similar results were found for light-chain MGUS.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of evolving risk patterns support annual blood testing and risk assessment for patients with MGUS or light-chain MGUS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1568DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6646992PMC
September 2019

Sex specific associations in genome wide association analysis of renal cell carcinoma.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 10 23;27(10):1589-1598. Epub 2019 Jun 23.

Russian N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has an undisputed genetic component and a stable 2:1 male to female sex ratio in its incidence across populations, suggesting possible sexual dimorphism in its genetic susceptibility. We conducted the first sex-specific genome-wide association analysis of RCC for men (3227 cases, 4916 controls) and women (1992 cases, 3095 controls) of European ancestry from two RCC genome-wide scans and replicated the top findings using an additional series of men (2261 cases, 5852 controls) and women (1399 cases, 1575 controls) from two independent cohorts of European origin. Our study confirmed sex-specific associations for two known RCC risk loci at 14q24.2 (DPF3) and 2p21(EPAS1). We also identified two additional suggestive male-specific loci at 6q24.3 (SAMD5, male odds ratio (OR) = 0.83 [95% CI = 0.78-0.89], P = 1.71 × 10 compared with female odds ratio (OR) = 0.98 [95% CI = 0.90-1.07], P = 0.68) and 12q23.3 (intergenic, OR = 0.75 [95% CI = 0.68-0.83], P = 1.59 × 10 compared with OR = 0.93 [95% CI = 0.82-1.06], P = 0.21) that attained genome-wide significance in the joint meta-analysis. Herein, we provide evidence of sex-specific associations in RCC genetic susceptibility and advocate the necessity of larger genetic and genomic studies to unravel the endogenous causes of sex bias in sexually dimorphic traits and diseases like RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-019-0455-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777615PMC
October 2019

Longitudinal investigation of haematological alterations among permethrin-exposed pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study.

Occup Environ Med 2019 07 8;76(7):467-470. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Objectives: Permethrin use has been associated with an increased risk of multiple myeloma (MM) among pesticide applicators. However, the biological plausibility and mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to assess whether exposure to permethrin is related to haematological alterations among occupationally exposed pesticide applicators.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study among 33 pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study comparing haematological parameters in the offseason with the day after permethrin exposure and, for 27 participants, approximately 3 weeks postexposure. Complete blood counts with white blood cell differential and lymphocyte subsets were measured at each visit. Multivariate linear mixed effects models were used to assess the relationship between natural log-transformed haematological parameters and exposure to permethrin.

Results: The adjusted geometric mean immature granulocyte count was elevated among pesticide applicators following permethrin exposure compared with their offseason levels (37% increase, 95% CI 6% to 76%). Modest but statistically significant (p<0.05) alterations in red blood cell (RBC) parameters (eg, decreased RBC count and haemoglobin and increased mean corpuscular volume and RBC distribution width-SD) were also observed the day after permethrin use compared with offseason levels; decreases in RBC count and haemoglobin and increases in RBC distribution width-SD persisted approximately 3 weeks after permethrin use.

Conclusions: Altered haematological parameters could be indicative of disrupted haematopoiesis, providing insights into the biological plausibility of the observed association between permethrin use and MM risk among pesticide applicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2018-105559DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359816PMC
July 2019

Pesticide use and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoid malignancies in agricultural cohorts from France, Norway and the USA: a pooled analysis from the AGRICOH consortium.

Int J Epidemiol 2019 10;48(5):1519-1535

Section of Environment and Radiation, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France.

Background: Pesticides are commonly used in agriculture, and previous studies endorsed the need to further investigate the possible association between their use and risk of lymphoid malignancies in agricultural workers.

Methods: We investigated the relationship of ever use of 14 selected pesticide chemical groups and 33 individual active chemical ingredients with non-Hodgkin lymphoid malignancies (NHL) overall or major subtypes, in a pooled analysis of three large agricultural worker cohorts. Pesticide use was derived from self-reported history of crops cultivated combined with crop-exposure matrices (France and Norway) or self-reported lifetime use of active ingredients (USA). Cox regression models were used to estimate cohort-specific hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), which were combined using random effects meta-analysis to calculate meta-HRs.

Results: During follow-up, 2430 NHL cases were diagnosed in 316 270 farmers accruing 3 574 815 person-years under risk. Most meta-HRs suggested no association. Moderately elevated meta-HRs were seen for: NHL and ever use of terbufos (meta-HR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.00-1.39); chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and deltamethrin (1.48, 1.06-2.07); and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and glyphosate (1.36, 1.00-1.85); as well as inverse associations of NHL with the broader groups of organochlorine insecticides (0.86, 0.74-0.99) and phenoxy herbicides (0.81, 0.67-0.98), but not with active ingredients within these groups, after adjusting for exposure to other pesticides.

Conclusions: Associations of pesticides with NHL appear to be subtype- and chemical-specific. Non-differential exposure misclassification was an important limitation, showing the need for refinement of exposure estimates and exposure-response analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6857760PMC
October 2019

Cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study after 20 years of follow-up.

Cancer Causes Control 2019 Apr 25;30(4):311-322. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 6E116, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a cohort of private pesticide applicators, their spouses, and commercial applicators, based on 12,420 cancers, adding 5,989 cancers, and 9 years of follow-up since last evaluation.

Methods: We calculated age, year, sex, and race-adjusted standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for cancer sites in the AHS relative to the general population.

Results: Overall AHS cancer incidence was lower than the general population (SIR = 0.91, CI 0.89-0.93; SIR = 0.89, CI 0.86-0.92; SIR = 0.83, CI 0.76-0.92), with notable deficits across applicators and spouses for oral cavity, pancreas, and lung cancers. Cancer excesses included prostate cancer, lip cancer, certain B-cell lymphomas (e.g., multiple myeloma), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, and peritoneal cancer. The lung cancer deficit was strongest among applicators reporting potential exposure to endotoxin at study enrollment (tasks such as raising animals and handling stored grain).

Conclusions: Although an overall deficit in cancer was observed, there were notable exceptions, including newly observed excesses for AML, thyroid, testicular, and peritoneal cancers. Furthermore, endotoxin exposure may, in part, account for observed lung cancer incidence deficits. Cancer incidence patterns in the AHS suggest farm exposures' relevance to cancer etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01140-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459699PMC
April 2019