Publications by authors named "Julie A Schmidt"

60 Publications

Evaluation of protein and amino acid intake estimates from the EPIC dietary questionnaires and 24-h dietary recalls using different food composition databases.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France.

Background And Aims: This study aimed to expand the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) nutrient database (ENDB) by adding amino acid (AA) values, using the U.S. nutrient database (USNDB). Additionally, we aimed to evaluate these new protein and AA intake estimates from the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR) using different matching procedures.

Methods And Results: Dietary energy, protein and AA intakes were assessed via DQ and 24-HDR by matching with the USNDB food composition table. Energy and protein intakes calculated using USNDB matching were compared with those calculated using ENDB, that uses country specific food composition tables. Pearson correlations, Cohen's weighted kappa statistic and Bland-Altman plots were used to compare data resulting from USNDB matching with our reference from ENDB matching. Very high correlations were found when comparing daily energy (r = 0.99) and dietary protein intakes (r = 0.97) assessed via USNDB with those obtained via ENDB (matching for DQ and 24-HDR). Significant positive correlations were also found with energy and protein intakes acquired via 24-HDRs in the EPIC calibration sample.

Conclusion: Very high correlations between total energy and protein intake obtained via the USDA matching and those available in ENDB suggest accuracy in the food matching. Individual AA have been included in the extended EPIC Nutrient database that will allow important analyses on AA disease prospective associations in the EPIC study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2021.09.012DOI Listing
September 2021

A New Pipeline for the Normalization and Pooling of Metabolomics Data.

Metabolites 2021 Sep 17;11(9). Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Pooling metabolomics data across studies is often desirable to increase the statistical power of the analysis. However, this can raise methodological challenges as several preanalytical and analytical factors could introduce differences in measured concentrations and variability between datasets. Specifically, different studies may use variable sample types (e.g., serum versus plasma) collected, treated, and stored according to different protocols, and assayed in different laboratories using different instruments. To address these issues, a new pipeline was developed to normalize and pool metabolomics data through a set of sequential steps: (i) exclusions of the least informative observations and metabolites and removal of outliers; imputation of missing data; (ii) identification of the main sources of variability through principal component partial R-square (PC-PR2) analysis; (iii) application of linear mixed models to remove unwanted variability, including samples' originating study and batch, and preserve biological variations while accounting for potential differences in the residual variances across studies. This pipeline was applied to targeted metabolomics data acquired using Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ kits in eight case-control studies nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Comprehensive examination of metabolomics measurements indicated that the pipeline improved the comparability of data across the studies. Our pipeline can be adapted to normalize other molecular data, including biomarkers as well as proteomics data, and could be used for pooling molecular datasets, for example in international consortia, to limit biases introduced by inter-study variability. This versatility of the pipeline makes our work of potential interest to molecular epidemiologists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11090631DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8467830PMC
September 2021

The blood metabolome of incident kidney cancer: A case-control study nested within the MetKid consortium.

PLoS Med 2021 Sep 20;18(9):e1003786. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France.

Background: Excess bodyweight and related metabolic perturbations have been implicated in kidney cancer aetiology, but the specific molecular mechanisms underlying these relationships are poorly understood. In this study, we sought to identify circulating metabolites that predispose kidney cancer and to evaluate the extent to which they are influenced by body mass index (BMI).

Methods And Findings: We assessed the association between circulating levels of 1,416 metabolites and incident kidney cancer using pre-diagnostic blood samples from up to 1,305 kidney cancer case-control pairs from 5 prospective cohort studies. Cases were diagnosed on average 8 years after blood collection. We found 25 metabolites robustly associated with kidney cancer risk. In particular, 14 glycerophospholipids (GPLs) were inversely associated with risk, including 8 phosphatidylcholines (PCs) and 2 plasmalogens. The PC with the strongest association was PC ae C34:3 with an odds ratio (OR) for 1 standard deviation (SD) increment of 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 0.83, p = 2.6 × 10-8). In contrast, 4 amino acids, including glutamate (OR for 1 SD = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.20 to 1.60, p = 1.6 × 10-5), were positively associated with risk. Adjusting for BMI partly attenuated the risk association for some-but not all-metabolites, whereas other known risk factors of kidney cancer, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, had minimal impact on the observed associations. A mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis of the influence of BMI on the blood metabolome highlighted that some metabolites associated with kidney cancer risk are influenced by BMI. Specifically, elevated BMI appeared to decrease levels of several GPLs that were also found inversely associated with kidney cancer risk (e.g., -0.17 SD change [ßBMI] in 1-(1-enyl-palmitoyl)-2-linoleoyl-GPC (P-16:0/18:2) levels per SD change in BMI, p = 3.4 × 10-5). BMI was also associated with increased levels of glutamate (ßBMI: 0.12, p = 1.5 × 10-3). While our results were robust across the participating studies, they were limited to study participants of European descent, and it will, therefore, be important to evaluate if our findings can be generalised to populations with different genetic backgrounds.

Conclusions: This study suggests a potentially important role of the blood metabolome in kidney cancer aetiology by highlighting a wide range of metabolites associated with the risk of developing kidney cancer and the extent to which changes in levels of these metabolites are driven by BMI-the principal modifiable risk factor of kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8496779PMC
September 2021

Associations of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I with intake of dietary proteins and other macronutrients.

Clin Nutr 2021 07 20;40(7):4685-4693. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Background & Aims: Circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is associated with the risk of several cancers. Dietary protein intake, particularly dairy protein, may increase circulating IGF-I; however, associations with different protein sources, other macronutrients, and fibre are inconclusive. To investigate the associations between intake of protein, macronutrients and their sources, fibre, and alcohol with serum IGF-I concentrations.

Methods: A total of 11,815 participants from UK Biobank who completed ≥4 24-h dietary assessments and had serum IGF-I concentrations measured at baseline were included. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the cross-sectional associations of macronutrient and fibre intake with circulating IGF-I concentrations.

Results: Circulating IGF-I concentrations were positively associated with intake of total protein (per 2.5% higher energy intake: 0.56 nmol/L (95% confidence interval: 0.47, 0.66)), milk protein: 1.20 nmol/L (0.90, 1.51), and yogurt protein: 1.33 nmol/L (0.79, 1.86), but not with cheese protein: -0.07 nmol/L (-0.40, 0.25). IGF-I concentrations were also positively associated with intake of fibre (per 5 g/day higher intake: 0.46 nmol/L (0.35, 0.57)) and starch from wholegrains (Q5 vs. Q1: 1.08 nmol/L (0.77, 1.39)), and inversely associated with alcohol consumption (>40 g/day vs <1 g/day: -1.36 nmol/L (-1.00, -1.71)).

Conclusions: These results show differing associations with IGF-I concentrations depending on the source of dairy protein, with positive associations with milk and yogurt protein intake but no association with cheese protein. The positive association of fibre and starch from wholegrains with IGF-I warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345002PMC
July 2021

Associations between dietary amino acid intakes and blood concentration levels.

Clin Nutr 2021 06 27;40(6):3772-3779. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, 69372, Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background And Aims: Emerging evidence suggests a role of amino acids (AAs) in the development of various diseases including renal failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and cancer. However, mechanistic pathways and the effects of dietary AA intakes on circulating levels and disease outcomes are unclear. We aimed to compare protein and AA intakes, with their respective blood concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: Dietary protein and AA intakes were assessed via the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR). A subsample of 3768 EPIC participants who were free of cancer had blood AA concentrations measured. To investigate how circulating levels relate to their respective intakes, dietary AA intake was examined in quintiles and ANOVA tests were run. Pearson correlations were examined for continous associations between intakes and blood concentrations.

Results: Dietary AA intakes (assessed with the DQ) and blood AA concentrations were not strongly correlated (-0.15 ≤ r ≤ 0.17) and the direction of the correlations depended on AA class: weak positive correlations were found for most essential AAs (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and conditionally essential AAs (arginine and tyrosine), while negative associations were found for non-essential AAs. Similar results were found when using the 24-HDR. When conducting ANOVA tests for essential AAs, higher intake quintiles were linked to higher blood AA concentrations, except for histidine and phenylalanine. For non-essential AAs and glycine, an inverse relationship was observed. Conditionally-essential AAs showed mixed results.

Conclusions: Weak positive correlations and dose responses were found between most essential and conditionally essential AA intakes, and blood concentrations, but not for the non-essential AAs. These results suggest that intake of dietary AA might be related to physiological AA status, particularly for the essential AAs. However, these results should be further evaluated and confirmed in large-scale prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.036DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Aug 5;162(2):475-481. 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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336647PMC
August 2021

Dietary Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Nutrients 2021 May 28;13(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

Office of the Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

(1) Background: Methyl-group donors (MGDs), including folate, choline, betaine, and methionine, may influence breast cancer (BC) risk through their role in one-carbon metabolism; (2) Methods: We studied the relationship between dietary intakes of MGDs and BC risk, adopting data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort; (3) Results: 318,686 pre- and postmenopausal women were followed between enrolment in 1992-2000 and December 2013-December 2015. Dietary MGD intakes were estimated at baseline through food-frequency questionnaires. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary intake of MGDs, measured both as a calculated score based on their sum and individually, and BC risk. Subgroup analyses were performed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, and level of alcohol intake. During a mean follow-up time of 14.1 years, 13,320 women with malignant BC were identified. No associations were found between dietary intakes of the MGD score or individual MGDs and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped relationship was observed between dietary folate intake and overall BC risk, suggesting an inverse association for intakes up to 350 µg/day compared to a reference intake of 205 µg/day. No statistically significant differences in the associations were observed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, or level of alcohol intake; (4) Conclusions: There was no strong evidence for an association between MGDs involved in one-carbon metabolism and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped trend was suggested for dietary folate intake and BC risk. Further research is needed to clarify this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13061843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228096PMC
May 2021

Novel Biomarkers of Habitual Alcohol Intake and Associations with Risk of Pancreatic and Liver Cancers and Liver Disease Mortality.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Alcohol is an established risk factor for several cancers, but modest alcohol-cancer associations may be missed due to measurement error in self-reported assessments. Biomarkers of habitual alcohol intake may provide novel insight into the relationship between alcohol and cancer risk.

Methods: Untargeted metabolomics was used to identify metabolites correlated with self-reported habitual alcohol intake in a discovery dataset from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; n = 454). Statistically significant correlations were tested in independent datasets of controls from case-control studies nested within EPIC (n = 280) and the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC; n = 438) study. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of alcohol-associated metabolites and self-reported alcohol intake with risk of pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, and liver disease mortality in the contributing studies.

Results: Two metabolites displayed a dose-response association with self-reported alcohol intake 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid and an unidentified compound. A 1-SD (log2) increase in levels of 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid was associated with risk of HCC (OR = 2.54; 95% CI = 1.51-4.27) and pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.03-1.99) in EPIC and liver cancer (OR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.44-2.77) and liver disease mortality (OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.63-2.86) in ATBC. Conversely, a 1-SD (log2) increase in questionnaire-derived alcohol intake was not associated with HCC or pancreatic cancer in EPIC or liver cancer in ATBC but was associated with liver disease mortality (OR = 2.19; 95% CI = 1.60-2.98) in ATBC.

Conclusions: 2-Hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid is a candidate biomarker of habitual alcohol intake that may advance the study of alcohol and cancer risk in population-based studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab078DOI Listing
May 2021

Metabolic signatures of greater body size and their associations with risk of colorectal and endometrial cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

BMC Med 2021 04 30;19(1):101. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

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

Background: The mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer relationship are incompletely understood. This study aimed to characterise metabolic signatures of greater body size and to investigate their association with two obesity-related malignancies, endometrial and colorectal cancers, and with weight loss within the context of an intervention study.

Methods: Targeted mass spectrometry metabolomics data from 4326 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and 17 individuals from a single-arm pilot weight loss intervention (Intercept) were used in this analysis. Metabolic signatures of body size were first determined in discovery (N = 3029) and replication (N = 1297) sets among EPIC participants by testing the associations between 129 metabolites and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) using linear regression models followed by partial least squares analyses. Conditional logistic regression models assessed the associations between the metabolic signatures with endometrial (N = 635 cases and 648 controls) and colorectal (N = 423 cases and 423 controls) cancer risk using nested case-control studies in EPIC. Pearson correlation between changes in the metabolic signatures and weight loss was tested among Intercept participants.

Results: After adjustment for multiple comparisons, greater BMI, WC, and WHR were associated with higher levels of valine, isoleucine, glutamate, PC aa C38:3, and PC aa C38:4 and with lower levels of asparagine, glutamine, glycine, serine, lysoPC C17:0, lysoPC C18:1, lysoPC C18:2, PC aa C42:0, PC ae C34:3, PC ae C40:5, and PC ae C42:5. The metabolic signature of BMI (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.30-1.74), WC (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.27-1.69), and WHR (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33-1.79) were each associated with endometrial cancer risk. Risk of colorectal cancer was positively associated with the metabolic signature of WHR (OR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.07-1.49). In the Intercept study, a positive correlation was observed between weight loss and changes in the metabolic signatures of BMI (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.06-0.94, p = 0.03), WC (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.05-0.94, p = 0.03), and WHR (r = 0.6, 95% CI 0.32-0.87, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Obesity is associated with a distinct metabolic signature comprising changes in levels of specific amino acids and lipids which is positively associated with both colorectal and endometrial cancer and is potentially reversible following weight loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01970-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086283PMC
April 2021

NMR Metabolite Profiles in Male Meat-Eaters, Fish-Eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans, and Comparison with MS Metabolite Profiles.

Metabolites 2021 Feb 20;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK.

Metabolomics may help to elucidate mechanisms underlying diet-disease relationships and identify novel risk factors for disease. To inform the design and interpretation of such research, evidence on diet-metabolite associations and cross-assay comparisons is needed. We aimed to compare nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolite profiles between meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, and to compare NMR measurements to those from mass spectrometry (MS), clinical chemistry and capillary gas-liquid chromatography (GC). We quantified 207 serum NMR metabolite measures in 286 male participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford cohort. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, we found that metabolite profiles varied by diet group, especially for vegans; the main differences compared to meat-eaters were lower levels of docosahexaenoic acid, total n-3 and saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides in very-low-density lipoproteins, various lipid factions in high-density lipoprotein, sphingomyelins, tyrosine and creatinine, and higher levels of linoleic acid, total n-6, polyunsaturated fatty acids and alanine. Levels in fish-eaters and vegetarians differed by metabolite measure. Concentrations of 13 metabolites measured using both NMR and MS, clinical chemistry or GC were mostly similar. In summary, vegans' metabolite profiles were markedly different to those of men consuming animal products. The studied metabolomics platforms are complementary, with limited overlap between metabolite classes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11020121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923783PMC
February 2021

Meat consumption and risk of 25 common conditions: outcome-wide analyses in 475,000 men and women in the UK Biobank study.

BMC Med 2021 03 2;19(1):53. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK.

Background: There is limited prospective evidence on the association between meat consumption and many common, non-cancerous health outcomes. We examined associations of meat intake with risk of 25 common conditions (other than cancer).

Methods: We used data from 474,985 middle-aged adults recruited into the UK Biobank study between 2006 and 2010 and followed up until 2017 (mean follow-up 8.0 years) with available information on meat intake at baseline (collected via touchscreen questionnaire), and linked hospital admissions and mortality data. For a large sub-sample (~ 69,000), dietary intakes were re-measured three or more times using an online, 24-h recall questionnaire.

Results: On average, participants who reported consuming meat regularly (three or more times per week) had more adverse health behaviours and characteristics than participants who consumed meat less regularly, and most of the positive associations observed for meat consumption and health risks were substantially attenuated after adjustment for body mass index (BMI). In multi-variable adjusted (including BMI) Cox regression models corrected for multiple testing, higher consumption of unprocessed red and processed meat combined was associated with higher risks of ischaemic heart disease (hazard ratio (HRs) per 70 g/day higher intake 1.15, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.07-1.23), pneumonia (1.31, 1.18-1.44), diverticular disease (1.19, 1.11-1.28), colon polyps (1.10, 1.06-1.15), and diabetes (1.30, 1.20-1.42); results were similar for unprocessed red meat and processed meat intakes separately. Higher consumption of unprocessed red meat alone was associated with a lower risk of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA: HR per 50 g/day higher intake 0.80, 95% CIs 0.72-0.90). Higher poultry meat intake was associated with higher risks of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (HR per 30 g/day higher intake 1.17, 95% CIs 1.09-1.26), gastritis and duodenitis (1.12, 1.05-1.18), diverticular disease (1.10, 1.04-1.17), gallbladder disease (1.11, 1.04-1.19), and diabetes (1.14, 1.07-1.21), and a lower IDA risk (0.83, 0.76-0.90).

Conclusions: Higher unprocessed red meat, processed meat, and poultry meat consumption was associated with higher risks of several common conditions; higher BMI accounted for a substantial proportion of these increased risks suggesting that residual confounding or mediation by adiposity might account for some of these remaining associations. Higher unprocessed red meat and poultry meat consumption was associated with lower IDA risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01922-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923515PMC
March 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.

CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain; Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, 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 and Nutrition 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 and Nutrition 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

Germline Sequencing DNA Repair Genes in 5545 Men With Aggressive and Nonaggressive Prostate Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May;113(5):616-625

Center for Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: There is an urgent need to identify factors specifically associated with aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) risk. We investigated whether rare pathogenic, likely pathogenic, or deleterious (P/LP/D) germline variants in DNA repair genes are associated with aggressive PCa risk in a case-case study of aggressive vs nonaggressive disease.

Methods: Participants were 5545 European-ancestry men, including 2775 nonaggressive and 2770 aggressive PCa cases, which included 467 metastatic cases (16.9%). Samples were assembled from 12 international studies and germline sequenced together. Rare (minor allele frequency < 0.01) P/LP/D variants were analyzed for 155 DNA repair genes. We compared single variant, gene-based, and DNA repair pathway-based burdens by disease aggressiveness. All statistical tests are 2-sided.

Results: BRCA2 and PALB2 had the most statistically significant gene-based associations, with 2.5% of aggressive and 0.8% of nonaggressive cases carrying P/LP/D BRCA2 alleles (odds ratio [OR] = 3.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.94 to 5.25, P = 8.58 × 10-7) and 0.65% of aggressive and 0.11% of nonaggressive cases carrying P/LP/D PALB2 alleles (OR = 6.31, 95% CI = 1.83 to 21.68, P = 4.79 × 10-4). ATM had a nominal association, with 1.6% of aggressive and 0.8% of nonaggressive cases carrying P/LP/D ATM alleles (OR = 1.88, 95% CI = 1.10 to 3.22, P = .02). In aggregate, P/LP/D alleles within 24 literature-curated candidate PCa DNA repair genes were more common in aggressive than nonaggressive cases (carrier frequencies = 14.2% vs 10.6%, respectively; P = 5.56 × 10-5). However, this difference was non-statistically significant (P = .18) on excluding BRCA2, PALB2, and ATM. Among these 24 genes, P/LP/D carriers had a 1.06-year younger diagnosis age (95% CI = -1.65 to 0.48, P = 3.71 × 10-4).

Conclusions: Risk conveyed by DNA repair genes is largely driven by rare P/LP/D alleles within BRCA2, PALB2, and ATM. These findings support the importance of these genes in both screening and disease management considerations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa132DOI Listing
May 2021

Meat intake and cancer risk: prospective analyses in UK Biobank.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 10;49(5):1540-1552

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Red and processed meat have been consistently associated with colorectal cancer risk, but evidence for other cancer sites and for poultry intake is limited. We therefore examined associations between total, red and processed meat and poultry intake and incidence for 20 common cancers.

Methods: We analyzed data from 474 996 participants (54% women) in UK Biobank. Participants were aged 37-73 years and cancer-free at baseline (2006-10). Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine associations between baseline meat intake and cancer incidence. Trends in risk across the baseline categories were calculated, assigning re-measured intakes from a subsample.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 6.9 years, 28 955 participants were diagnosed with malignant cancer. After correction for multiple testing, red and processed meat combined, and processed meat, were each positively associated with colorectal cancer risk [hazard ratio (HR) per 70 g/day higher intake of red and processed meat 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.14-1.53; HR per 20 g/day higher intake of processed meat 1.18, 1.03-1.31] and red meat was associated with colon cancer risk (HR per 50 g/day higher intake of red meat 1.36, 1.13-1.64). Positive associations of red meat intake with colorectal and prostate cancer, processed meat intake with rectal cancer and poultry intake with cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues did not survive multiple testing.

Conclusions: Higher intake of red and processed meat was specifically associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer; there was little evidence that meat intake was associated with risk of other cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa142DOI Listing
October 2020

Metabolic perturbations prior to hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis: Findings from a prospective observational cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 02 28;148(3):609-625. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development entails changes in liver metabolism. Current knowledge on metabolic perturbations in HCC is derived mostly from case-control designs, with sparse information from prospective cohorts. Our objective was to apply comprehensive metabolite profiling to detect metabolites whose serum concentrations are associated with HCC development, using biological samples from within the prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort (>520 000 participants), where we identified 129 HCC cases matched 1:1 to controls. We conducted high-resolution untargeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics on serum samples collected at recruitment prior to cancer diagnosis. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was applied controlling for dietary habits, alcohol consumption, smoking, body size, hepatitis infection and liver dysfunction. Corrections for multiple comparisons were applied. Of 9206 molecular features detected, 220 discriminated HCC cases from controls. Detailed feature annotation revealed 92 metabolites associated with HCC risk, of which 14 were unambiguously identified using pure reference standards. Positive HCC-risk associations were observed for N1-acetylspermidine, isatin, p-hydroxyphenyllactic acid, tyrosine, sphingosine, l,l-cyclo(leucylprolyl), glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid and 7-methylguanine. Inverse risk associations were observed for retinol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, glycerophosphocholine, γ-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman and creatine. Discernible differences for these metabolites were observed between cases and controls up to 10 years prior to diagnosis. Our observations highlight the diversity of metabolic perturbations involved in HCC development and replicate previous observations (metabolism of bile acids, amino acids and phospholipids) made in Asian and Scandinavian populations. These findings emphasize the role of metabolic pathways associated with steroid metabolism and immunity and specific dietary and environmental exposures in HCC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33236DOI Listing
February 2021

Circulating Insulin-like Growth Factor-I Concentrations and Risk of 30 Cancers: Prospective Analyses in UK Biobank.

Cancer Res 2020 09 24;80(18):4014-4021. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is positively associated with the risks of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, but evidence for other less common cancers is limited. In this study, we investigated associations between serum IGF-I concentrations and incidence of less common cancers in the UK Biobank study. To enable comparison of effect estimates, and as positive controls, both common and less common cancer sites (total 30) were included in an outcome-wide analysis. Data from 394,388 cancer-free participants in the UK Biobank study were analyzed. Multivariable adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine associations between baseline serum IGF-I concentrations and cancer incidence, using repeated IGF-I measurements from up to 14,149 participants to correct for regression dilution bias. Higher IGF-I concentration was associated with increased risks of thyroid cancer [HR per 5 nmol/L higher concentration 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.37] in addition to colorectal (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.03-1.13), breast (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.07-1.15), and prostate cancer (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.05-1.12), and reduced risks of ovarian and liver cancer. Mean follow-up was 6.9 years and the possibility that the observed associations may be influenced by reverse causality bias cannot be excluded. Additional nominally significant associations with malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, oral cancer, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma did not survive correction for multiple testing. Studies with longer follow-up and pooled analyses are needed to further assess how broad the role of IGF-I is in cancer development. SIGNIFICANCE: The results from this outcome-wide analysis are consistent with a positive association of IGF-I with cancers at several sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1281DOI Listing
September 2020

A metabolomic study of red and processed meat intake and acylcarnitine concentrations in human urine and blood.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 08;112(2):381-388

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

Background: Acylcarnitines (ACs) play a major role in fatty acid metabolism and are potential markers of metabolic dysfunction with higher blood concentrations reported in obese and diabetic individuals. Diet, and in particular red and processed meat intake, has been shown to influence AC concentrations but data on the effect of meat consumption on AC concentrations is limited.

Objectives: To investigate the effect of red and processed meat intake on AC concentrations in plasma and urine using a randomized controlled trial with replication in an observational cohort.

Methods: In the randomized crossover trial, 12 volunteers successively consumed 2 different diets containing either pork or tofu for 3 d each. A panel of 44 ACs including several oxidized ACs was analyzed by LC-MS in plasma and urine samples collected after the 3-d period. ACs that were associated with pork intake were then measured in urine (n = 474) and serum samples (n = 451) from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC) study and tested for associations with habitual red and processed meat intake derived from dietary questionnaires.

Results: In urine samples from the intervention study, pork intake was positively associated with concentrations of 18 short- and medium-chain ACs. Eleven of these were also positively associated with habitual red and processed meat intake in the EPIC cross-sectional study. In blood, C18:0 was positively associated with red meat intake in both the intervention study (q = 0.004, Student's t-test) and the cross-sectional study (q = 0.033, linear regression).

Conclusions: AC concentrations in urine and blood were associated with red meat intake in both a highly controlled intervention study and in subjects of a cross-sectional study. Our data on the role of meat intake on this important pathway of fatty acid and energy metabolism may help understanding the role of red meat consumption in the etiology of some chronic diseases. This trial was registered at Clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03354130.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa140DOI Listing
August 2020

Healthy lifestyle and the risk of lymphoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

Int J Cancer 2020 09 30;147(6):1649-1656. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Department of Radiation Sciences and Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Limited evidence exists on the role of modifiable lifestyle factors on the risk of lymphoma. In this work, the associations between adherence to healthy lifestyles and risks of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) were evaluated in a large-scale European prospective cohort. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), 2,999 incident lymphoma cases (132 HL and 2,746 NHL) were diagnosed among 453,808 participants after 15 years (median) of follow-up. The healthy lifestyle index (HLI) score combined information on smoking, alcohol intake, diet, physical activity and BMI, with large values of HLI expressing adherence to healthy behavior. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate lymphoma hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Sensitivity analyses were conducted by excluding, in turn, each lifestyle factor from the HLI score. The HLI was inversely associated with HL, with HR for a 1-standard deviation (SD) increment in the score equal to 0.78 (95% CI: 0.66, 0.94). Sensitivity analyses showed that the association was mainly driven by smoking and marginally by diet. NHL risk was not associated with the HLI, with HRs for a 1-SD increment equal to 0.99 (0.95, 1.03), with no evidence for heterogeneity in the association across NHL subtypes. In the EPIC study, adherence to healthy lifestyles was not associated with overall lymphoma or NHL risk, while an inverse association was observed for HL, although this was largely attributable to smoking. These findings suggest a limited role of lifestyle factors in the etiology of lymphoma subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32977DOI Listing
September 2020

Serum levels of hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-29a-3p, hsa-miR-150-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p and hsa-miR-223-3p and subsequent risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the EPIC study.

Int J Cancer 2020 09 2;147(5):1315-1324. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

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

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable disease accounting for almost one-third of leukemias in the Western world. Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is a well-established characteristic of CLL, and the robust nature of miRNAs makes them eminently suitable liquid biopsy biomarkers. Using a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), the predictive values of five promising human miRNAs (hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-29a-3p, hsa-miR-150-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p and hsa-miR-223-3p), identified in a pilot study, were examined in serum of 224 CLL cases (diagnosed 3 months to 18 years after enrollment) and 224 matched controls using Taqman based assays. Conditional logistic regressions were applied to adjust for potential confounders. The median time from blood collection to CLL diagnosis was 10 years (p25-p75: 7-13 years). Overall, the upregulation of hsa-miR-150-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p and hsa-miR-29a-3p was associated with subsequent risk of CLL [OR (95%CI) = 1.42 (1.18-1.72), 1.64 (1.31-2.04) and 1.75 (1.31-2.34) for hsa-miR-150-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p and hsa-miR-29a-3p, respectively] and the strongest associations were observed within 10 years of diagnosis. However, the predictive performance of these miRNAs was modest (area under the curve <0.62). hsa-miR-16-5p and hsa-miR-223-3p levels were unrelated to CLL risk. The findings of this first prospective study suggest that hsa-miR-29a, hsa-miR-150-5p and hsa-miR-155-5p were upregulated in early stages of CLL but were modest predictive biomarkers of CLL risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32894DOI Listing
September 2020

Mitochondrial DNA Copy-Number Variation and Pancreatic Cancer Risk in the Prospective EPIC Cohort.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 03 13;29(3):681-686. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in peripheral blood has been found to be associated with risk of developing several cancers. However, data on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are very limited.

Methods: To further our knowledge on this topic, we measured relative mtDNA copy number by a quantitative real-time PCR assay in peripheral leukocyte samples of 476 PDAC cases and 357 controls nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Results: We observed lower mtDNA copy number with advancing age ( = 6.54 × 10) and with a high body mass index (BMI) level ( = 0.004) and no association with sex, smoking behavior, and alcohol consumption. We found an association between increased mtDNA copy number and decreased risk of developing PDAC with an odds ratios (OR) of 0.35 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.16-0.79; = 0.01] when comparing the fifth quintile with the first using an unconditional logistic regression and an OR of 0.19 (95% CI, 0.07-0.52; = 0.001) with a conditional analysis. Analyses stratified by BMI showed an association between high mtDNA copy number and decreased risk in the stratum of normal weight, consistent with the main analyses.

Conclusions: Our results suggest a protective effect of a higher number of mitochondria, measured in peripheral blood leukocytes, on PDAC risk.

Impact: Our findings highlight the importance of understanding the mitochondrial biology in pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611119PMC
March 2020

Lifestyle factors and risk of multimorbidity of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases: a multinational cohort study.

BMC Med 2020 01 10;18(1). Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Although lifestyle factors have been studied in relation to individual non-communicable diseases (NCDs), their association with development of a subsequent NCD, defined as multimorbidity, has been scarcely investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between five lifestyle factors and incident multimorbidity of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 291,778 participants (64% women) from seven European countries, mostly aged 43 to 58 years and free of cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and type 2 diabetes (T2D) at recruitment, were included. Incident multimorbidity of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases was defined as developing subsequently two diseases including first cancer at any site, CVD, and T2D in an individual. Multi-state modelling based on Cox regression was used to compute hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of developing cancer, CVD, or T2D, and subsequent transitions to multimorbidity, in relation to body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and their combination as a healthy lifestyle index (HLI) score. Cumulative incidence functions (CIFs) were estimated to compute 10-year absolute risks for transitions from healthy to cancer at any site, CVD (both fatal and non-fatal), or T2D, and to subsequent multimorbidity after each of the three NCDs.

Results: During a median follow-up of 11 years, 1910 men and 1334 women developed multimorbidity of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases. A higher HLI, reflecting healthy lifestyles, was strongly inversely associated with multimorbidity, with hazard ratios per 3-unit increment of 0.75 (95% CI, 0.71 to 0.81), 0.84 (0.79 to 0.90), and 0.82 (0.77 to 0.88) after cancer, CVD, and T2D, respectively. After T2D, the 10-year absolute risks of multimorbidity were 40% and 25% for men and women, respectively, with unhealthy lifestyle, and 30% and 18% for men and women with healthy lifestyles.

Conclusion: Pre-diagnostic healthy lifestyle behaviours were strongly inversely associated with the risk of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases, and with the prognosis of these diseases by reducing risk of multimorbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1474-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953215PMC
January 2020

Plasma polyphenols associated with lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations: a cross-sectional study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Br J Nutr 2020 01;123(2):198-208

CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterise the association between plasma concentrations of thirty-five polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis, the OR and 95 % CI of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/l) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In a multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per standard deviation) was associated with 29 (95 % CI 50, 1) % lower odds of elevated hsCRP. In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·58, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·63, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·87), ferulic acid (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·44, 0·96) and caffeic acid (OR 0·69, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR 0·67, 95 % CI 0·48, 0·93). The present study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114519002538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7015881PMC
January 2020

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and breast cancer in EPIC.

BMC Med 2019 09 24;17(1):178. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Department of Community Medicine, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway.

Background: Metabolomics is a promising molecular tool to identify novel etiologic pathways leading to cancer. Using a targeted approach, we prospectively investigated the associations between metabolite concentrations in plasma and breast cancer risk.

Methods: A nested case-control study was established within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer cohort, which included 1624 first primary incident invasive breast cancer cases (with known estrogen and progesterone receptor and HER2 status) and 1624 matched controls. Metabolites (n = 127, acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, hexose, sphingolipids) were measured by mass spectrometry in pre-diagnostic plasma samples and tested for associations with breast cancer incidence using multivariable conditional logistic regression.

Results: Among women not using hormones at baseline (n = 2248), and after control for multiple tests, concentrations of arginine (odds ratio [OR] per SD = 0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70-0.90), asparagine (OR = 0.83 (0.74-0.92)), and phosphatidylcholines (PCs) ae C36:3 (OR = 0.83 (0.76-0.90)), aa C36:3 (OR = 0.84 (0.77-0.93)), ae C34:2 (OR = 0.85 (0.78-0.94)), ae C36:2 (OR = 0.85 (0.78-0.88)), and ae C38:2 (OR = 0.84 (0.76-0.93)) were inversely associated with breast cancer risk, while the acylcarnitine C2 (OR = 1.23 (1.11-1.35)) was positively associated with disease risk. In the overall population, C2 (OR = 1.15 (1.06-1.24)) and PC ae C36:3 (OR = 0.88 (0.82-0.95)) were associated with risk of breast cancer, and these relationships did not differ by breast cancer subtype, age at diagnosis, fasting status, menopausal status, or adiposity.

Conclusions: These findings point to potentially novel pathways and biomarkers of breast cancer development. Results warrant replication in other epidemiological studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1408-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6757362PMC
September 2019

Association Between Soft Drink Consumption and Mortality in 10 European Countries.

JAMA Intern Med 2019 Nov;179(11):1479-1490

Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.

Importance: Soft drinks are frequently consumed, but whether this consumption is associated with mortality risk is unknown and has been understudied in European populations to date.

Objective: To examine the association between total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drink consumption and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This population-based cohort study involved participants (n = 451 743 of the full cohort) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), an ongoing, large multinational cohort of people from 10 European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), with participants recruited between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 2000. Excluded participants were those who reported cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes at baseline; those with implausible dietary intake data; and those with missing soft drink consumption or follow-up information. Data analyses were performed from February 1, 2018, to October 1, 2018.

Exposure: Consumption of total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Total mortality and cause-specific mortality. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for other mortality risk factors.

Results: In total, 521 330 individuals were enrolled. Of this total, 451 743 (86.7%) were included in the study, with a mean (SD) age of 50.8 (9.8) years and with 321 081 women (71.1%). During a mean (range) follow-up of 16.4 (11.1 in Greece to 19.2 in France) years, 41 693 deaths occurred. Higher all-cause mortality was found among participants who consumed 2 or more glasses per day (vs consumers of <1 glass per month) of total soft drinks (hazard ratio [HR], 1.17; 95% CI, 1.11-1.22; P < .001), sugar-sweetened soft drinks (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.16; P = .004), and artificially sweetened soft drinks (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.16-1.35; P < .001). Positive associations were also observed between artificially sweetened soft drinks and deaths from circulatory diseases (≥2 glasses per day vs <1 glass per month; HR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.30-1.78; P < .001) and between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and deaths from digestive diseases (≥1 glass per day vs <1 glass per month; HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.24-2.05; P < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study found that consumption of total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks was positively associated with all-cause deaths in this large European cohort; the results are supportive of public health campaigns aimed at limiting the consumption of soft drinks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2478DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6724165PMC
November 2019

Prediagnostic Plasma Bile Acid Levels and Colon Cancer Risk: A Prospective Study.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 05;112(5):516-524

Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.

Background: Bile acids have been proposed to promote colon carcinogenesis. However, there are limited prospective data on circulating bile acid levels and colon cancer risk in humans.

Methods: Associations between prediagnostic plasma levels of 17 primary, secondary, and tertiary bile acid metabolites (conjugated and unconjugated) and colon cancer risk were evaluated in a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Bile acid levels were quantified by tandem mass spectrometry in samples from 569 incident colon cancer cases and 569 matched controls. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for colon cancer risk across quartiles of bile acid concentrations.

Results: Positive associations were observed between colon cancer risk and plasma levels of seven conjugated bile acid metabolites: the primary bile acids glycocholic acid (ORquartile 4 vs quartile 1= 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.52 to 3.26), taurocholic acid (OR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.23 to 2.58), glycochenodeoxycholic acid (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.13 to 2.48), taurochenodeoxycholic acid (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.11 to 2.36), and glycohyocholic acid (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.13 to 2.40), and the secondary bile acids glycodeoxycholic acid (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.12 to 2.54) and taurodeoxycholic acid (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.02 to 2.31). By contrast, unconjugated bile acids and tertiary bile acids were not associated with risk.

Conclusions: This prospective study showed that prediagnostic levels of certain conjugated primary and secondary bile acids were positively associated with risk of colon cancer. Our findings support experimental data to suggest that a high bile acid load is colon cancer promotive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djz166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225675PMC
May 2020

Polyphenol intake and differentiated thyroid cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Cancer 2020 04 7;146(7):1841-1850. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Department of Surgery, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Polyphenols are bioactive compounds with several anticarcinogenic activities; however, human data regarding associations with thyroid cancer (TC) is still negligible. Our aim was to evaluate the association between intakes of total, classes and subclasses of polyphenols and risk of differentiated TC and its main subtypes, papillary and follicular, in a European population. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort included 476,108 men and women from 10 European countries. During a mean follow-up of 14 years, there were 748 incident differentiated TC cases, including 601 papillary and 109 follicular tumors. Polyphenol intake was estimated at baseline using validated center/country-specific dietary questionnaires and the Phenol-Explorer database. In multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models, no association between total polyphenol and the risks of overall differentiated TC (HR = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-1.29), papillary (HR = 1.06, 95% CI 0.80-1.41) or follicular TC (HR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.55-2.22) were found. No associations were observed either for flavonoids, phenolic acids or the rest of classes and subclasses of polyphenols. After stratification by body mass index (BMI), an inverse association between the intake of polyphenols (p-trend = 0.019) and phenolic acids (p-trend = 0.007) and differentiated TC risk in subjects with BMI ≥ 25 was observed. In conclusion, our study showed no associations between dietary polyphenol intake and differentiated TC risk; although further studies are warranted to investigate the potential protective associations in overweight and obese individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32589DOI Listing
April 2020

Consumption of nuts and seeds and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Int J Cancer 2020 01 6;146(1):76-84. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department for Determinants of Chronic Diseases (DCD), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Four epidemiologic studies have assessed the association between nut intake and pancreatic cancer risk with contradictory results. The present study aims to investigate the relation between nut intake (including seeds) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazards ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for nut intake and PDAC risk. Information on intake of nuts was obtained from the EPIC country-specific dietary questionnaires. After a mean follow-up of 14 years, 476,160 participants were eligible for the present study and included 1,283 PDAC cases. No association was observed between consumption of nuts and PDAC risk (highest intake vs nonconsumers: HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.72-1.10; p-trend = 0.70). Furthermore, no evidence for effect-measure modification was observed when different subgroups were analyzed. Overall, in EPIC, the highest intake of nuts was not statistically significantly associated with PDAC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340534PMC
January 2020

Comparison of Major Protein-Source Foods and Other Food Groups in Meat-Eaters and Non-Meat-Eaters in the EPIC-Oxford Cohort.

Nutrients 2019 Apr 11;11(4). Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK.

Differences in health outcomes between meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters might relate to differences in dietary intakes between these diet groups. We assessed intakes of major protein-source foods and other food groups in six groups of meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford study. The data were from 30,239 participants who answered questions regarding their consumption of meat, fish, dairy or eggs and completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in 2010. Participants were categorized as regular meat-eaters, low meat-eaters, poultry-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. FFQ foods were categorized into 45 food groups and analysis of variance was used to test for differences between age-adjusted mean intakes of each food group by diet group. Regular meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, respectively, consumed about a third, quarter and a fifth of their total energy intake from high protein-source foods. Compared with regular meat-eaters, low and non-meat-eaters consumed higher amounts of high-protein meat alternatives (soy, legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds) and other plant-based foods (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) and lower amounts of refined grains, fried foods, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. These findings provide insight into potential nutritional explanations for differences in health outcomes between diet groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11040824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521004PMC
April 2019

Patterns in metabolite profile are associated with risk of more aggressive prostate cancer: A prospective study of 3,057 matched case-control sets from EPIC.

Int J Cancer 2020 02 29;146(3):720-730. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Metabolomics may reveal novel insights into the etiology of prostate cancer, for which few risk factors are established. We investigated the association between patterns in baseline plasma metabolite profile and subsequent prostate cancer risk, using data from 3,057 matched case-control sets from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). We measured 119 metabolite concentrations in plasma samples, collected on average 9.4 years before diagnosis, by mass spectrometry (AbsoluteIDQ p180 Kit, Biocrates Life Sciences AG). Metabolite patterns were identified using treelet transform, a statistical method for identification of groups of correlated metabolites. Associations of metabolite patterns with prostate cancer risk (OR ) were estimated by conditional logistic regression. Supplementary analyses were conducted for metabolite patterns derived using principal component analysis and for individual metabolites. Men with metabolite profiles characterized by higher concentrations of either phosphatidylcholines or hydroxysphingomyelins (OR  = 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.89), acylcarnitines C18:1 and C18:2, glutamate, ornithine and taurine (OR  = 0.72, 0.57-0.90), or lysophosphatidylcholines (OR  = 0.81, 0.69-0.95) had lower risk of advanced stage prostate cancer at diagnosis, with no evidence of heterogeneity by follow-up time. Similar associations were observed for the two former patterns with aggressive disease risk (the more aggressive subset of advanced stage), while the latter pattern was inversely related to risk of prostate cancer death (OR  = 0.77, 0.61-0.96). No associations were observed for prostate cancer overall or less aggressive tumor subtypes. In conclusion, metabolite patterns may be related to lower risk of more aggressive prostate tumors and prostate cancer death, and might be relevant to etiology of advanced stage prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916595PMC
February 2020

Inflammatory potential of diet and risk of lymphoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Eur J Nutr 2020 Mar 22;59(2):813-823. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Cancer Registry and Histopathology Department, "Civic-M. P. Arezzo" Hospital, ASP, Ragusa, Ragusa, Italy.

Introduction: Chronic inflammation plays a critical role in lymphomagenesis and several dietary factors seem to be involved its regulation. The aim of the current study was to assess the association between the inflammatory potential of the diet and the risk of lymphoma and its subtypes in the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Methods: The analysis included 476,160 subjects with an average follow-up of 13.9 years, during which 3,136 lymphomas (135 Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), 2606 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 395 NOS) were identified. The dietary inflammatory potential was assessed by means of an inflammatory score of the diet (ISD), calculated using 28 dietary components and their corresponding inflammatory weights. The association between the ISD and lymphoma risk was estimated by hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) calculated by multivariable Cox regression models adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: The ISD was not associated with overall lymphoma risk. Among lymphoma subtypes, a positive association between the ISD and mature B-cell NHL (HR for a 1-SD increase: 1.07 (95% CI 1.01; 1.14), p trend = 0.03) was observed. No statistically significant association was found among other subtypes. However, albeit with smaller number of cases, a suggestive association was observed for HL (HR for a 1-SD increase = 1.22 (95% CI 0.94; 1.57), p trend 0.13).

Conclusions: Our findings suggested that a high ISD score, reflecting a pro-inflammatory diet, was modestly positively associated with the risk of B-cell lymphoma subtypes. Further large prospective studies on low-grade inflammation induced by diet are warranted to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-01947-0DOI Listing
March 2020
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