Publications by authors named "Pietro Ferrari"

269 Publications

Long-term weight change and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Int J Epidemiol 2022 Jan;50(6):1914-1926

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK.

Background: The role of obesity and weight change in breast-cancer development is complex and incompletely understood. We investigated long-term weight change and breast-cancer risk by body mass index (BMI) at age 20 years, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and hormone-receptor status.

Methods: Using data on weight collected at three different time points from women who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, we investigated the association between weight change from age 20 years until middle adulthood and risk of breast cancer.

Results: In total, 150 257 women with a median age of 51 years at cohort entry were followed for an average of 14 years (standard deviation = 3.9) during which 6532 breast-cancer cases occurred. Compared with women with stable weight (±2.5 kg), long-term weight gain >10 kg was positively associated with postmenopausal breast-cancer risk in women who were lean at age 20 [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.42; 95% confidence interval 1.22-1.65] in ever HRT users (HR = 1.23; 1.04-1.44), in never HRT users (HR = 1.40; 1.16-1.68) and in oestrogen-and-progesterone-receptor-positive (ER+PR+) breast cancer (HR = 1.46; 1.15-1.85).

Conclusion: Long-term weight gain was positively associated with postmenopausal breast cancer in women who were lean at age 20, both in HRT ever users and non-users, and hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8743116PMC
January 2022

Determinants of Obesity and Metabolic Health in the Afghan Population: Protocol, Methodology, and Preliminary Results.

J Epidemiol Glob Health 2022 Jan 7. Epub 2022 Jan 7.

Nutrition and Metabolism Section, International Agency for Research On Cancer (IARC/WHO), 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372, Cedex 08, Lyon, France.

Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause more than 70% of deaths worldwide and share modifiable risk factors including obesity and metabolic abnormalities. Over the past 15 years, many changes in lifestyle, dietary patterns, physical activity, and socioeconomic status have been observed in the Afghan population. This study aims to investigate which specific lifestyle factors, dietary patterns, and characteristics of Westernization are associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese and with poor metabolic health in the Afghan population.

Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted where a total of 729 male and female participants were recruited. Face-to-face interviews and anthropometric measurements were conducted by trained health staff using standardized questionnaires which included information on socio-demographic and housing characteristics, income, occupation, ethnicity, personal and family medical history, stress, anthropometry, diet, and physical activity. Bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) was used to estimate body composition, including overall body fatness. Physical activity was measured using the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). For a comprehensive assessment of dietary intake, a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) specific to the Afghan population was developed which included all local food items relevant to the population. Lipid profile and fasting glucose were measured in a local laboratory. Biospecimens were collected using dried blood spots (DBS) and dried stool cards to perform microbiome and biomarker-based research.

Discussion: This is the first study which will assess dietary patterns, lifestyle factors, and their association with obesity and metabolic health in Afghanistan. Such a study will aid the development of dietary and lifestyle guidelines in Afghanistan which will promote better health and educate people to make healthy food choices. The findings will also help in designing and implementing effective public health strategies to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent the epidemic of overweight and obesity, and, hence, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s44197-021-00026-0DOI Listing
January 2022

Metabolic disorders and gastroenteropancreatic-neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs): How do they influence each other? An Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM)/ Italian Association of Medical Diabetologists (AMD)/ Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE)/ Italian Society of Pharmacology (SIF) multidisciplinary consensus position paper.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2022 Jan 22;169:103572. Epub 2021 Dec 22.

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Section of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Andrology and Metabolic Diseases, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are a heterogeneous group of malignancies derived from neuroendocrine cells that can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract. GEP-NETs incidence has been steadily increasing over the past decades, in parallel with the increasing incidence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). It is not yet fully known whether the MetS components (such as obesity, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes) could be involved in the etiology of GEP-NETs or could influence their outcomes. In this review, a panel of experts of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM), Italian Association of Medical Diabetologists (AMD), Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE), and Italian Society of Pharmacology (SIF) provides a critical view of the experimental and clinical evidence about the association of GEP-NETs risk, outcomes, and therapies with the metabolic disorders typical of MetS. The potential therapeutic strategies for an optimal management of patients with both GEP-NETs and MetS are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2021.103572DOI Listing
January 2022

Co-benefits from sustainable dietary shifts for population and environmental health: an assessment from a large European cohort study.

Lancet Planet Health 2021 Nov 22;5(11):e786-e796. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Cancer Risk Factors and Life-Style Epidemiology Unit, Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Clinical Network - ISPRO, Florence, Italy.

Background: Unhealthy diets, the rise of non-communicable diseases, and the declining health of the planet are highly intertwined, where food production and consumption are major drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions, substantial land use, and adverse health such as cancer and mortality. To assess the potential co-benefits from shifting to more sustainable diets, we aimed to investigate the associations of dietary greenhouse gas emissions and land use with all-cause and cause-specific mortality and cancer incidence rates.

Methods: Using data from 443 991 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, a multicentre prospective cohort, we estimated associations between dietary contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and land use and all-cause and cause-specific mortality and incident cancers using Cox proportional hazards regression models. The main exposures were modelled as quartiles. Co-benefits, encompassing the potential effects of alternative diets on all-cause mortality and cancer and potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and land use, were estimated with counterfactual attributable fraction intervention models, simulating potential effects of dietary shifts based on the EAT-Lancet reference diet.

Findings: In the pooled analysis, there was an association between levels of dietary greenhouse gas emissions and all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1·13 [95% CI 1·10-1·16]) and between land use and all-cause mortality (1·18 [1·15-1·21]) when comparing the fourth quartile to the first quartile. Similar associations were observed for cause-specific mortality. Associations were also observed between all-cause cancer incidence rates and greenhouse gas emissions, when comparing the fourth quartile to the first quartile (adjusted HR 1·11 [95% CI 1·09-1·14]) and between all-cause cancer incidence rates and land use (1·13 [1·10-1·15]); however, estimates differed by cancer type. Through counterfactual attributable fraction modelling of shifts in levels of adherence to the EAT-Lancet diet, we estimated that up to 19-63% of deaths and up to 10-39% of cancers could be prevented, in a 20-year risk period, by different levels of adherence to the EAT-Lancet reference diet. Additionally, switching from lower adherence to the EAT-Lancet reference diet to higher adherence could potentially reduce food-associated greenhouse gas emissions up to 50% and land use up to 62%.

Interpretation: Our results indicate that shifts towards universally sustainable diets could lead to co-benefits, such as minimising diet-related greenhouse gas emissions and land use, reducing the environmental footprint, aiding in climate change mitigation, and improving population health.

Funding: European Commission (DG-SANCO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), MRC Early Career Fellowship (MR/M501669/1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00250-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8581185PMC
November 2021

Metabolic Syndrome and Risk of Gastrointestinal Cancers: An Investigation Using Large-scale Molecular Data.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Oct 20. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

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

Background & Aims: Gastrointestinal cancer risk is influenced by the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, previous epidemiologic studies lacked full serological biomarker data for the classification of MetS, and the interaction of MetS with germline cancer risk variants is unknown.

Methods: We investigated the associations between MetS and gastrointestinal cancer risk (overall, colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, stomach cardia, stomach non-cardia, hepatocellular carcinoma, and intrahepatic bile duct cancer) in 366,016 United Kingdom Biobank participants with comprehensive serum biomarker and genotype data. MetS status was determined by 3 different definitions at baseline, and, in 15,152 participants, at a repeat assessment after a median of 4.3 years of follow-up. Multivariable hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for cancer outcomes were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Analyses stratified by polygenic risk score were conducted for colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

Results: During a median follow-up of 7.1 years, 4238 incident cases of a gastrointestinal cancer occurred. MetS at baseline was associated with higher risk of overall gastrointestinal cancer by any definition (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.29, harmonized definition). MetS was associated with increased risks of colorectal cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer in women, and esophageal adenocarcinoma in men. Associations for colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer did not differ by polygenic risk score strata (P-heterogeneity 0.70 and 0.69, respectively), and 80% of participants with MetS at baseline retained this status at the repeat assessment.

Conclusions: These findings underscore the importance of maintaining good metabolic health in reducing the burden of gastrointestinal cancers, irrespective of genetic predisposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.10.016DOI Listing
October 2021

Food biodiversity and total and cause-specific mortality in 9 European countries: An analysis of a prospective cohort study.

PLoS Med 2021 10 18;18(10):e1003834. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

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

Background: Food biodiversity, encompassing the variety of plants, animals, and other organisms consumed as food and drink, has intrinsic potential to underpin diverse, nutritious diets and improve Earth system resilience. Dietary species richness (DSR), which is recommended as a crosscutting measure of food biodiversity, has been positively associated with the micronutrient adequacy of diets in women and young children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, the relationships between DSR and major health outcomes have yet to be assessed in any population.

Methods And Findings: We examined the associations between DSR and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 451,390 adults enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study (1992 to 2014, median follow-up: 17 years), free of cancer, diabetes, heart attack, or stroke at baseline. Usual dietary intakes were assessed at recruitment with country-specific dietary questionnaires (DQs). DSR of an individual's yearly diet was calculated based on the absolute number of unique biological species in each (composite) food and drink. Associations were assessed by fitting multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models. In the EPIC cohort, 2 crops (common wheat and potato) and 2 animal species (cow and pig) accounted for approximately 45% of self-reported total dietary energy intake [median (P10-P90): 68 (40 to 83) species consumed per year]. Overall, higher DSR was inversely associated with all-cause mortality rate. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing total mortality in the second, third, fourth, and fifth (highest) quintiles (Qs) of DSR to the first (lowest) Q indicate significant inverse associations, after stratification by sex, age, and study center and adjustment for smoking status, educational level, marital status, physical activity, alcohol intake, and total energy intake, Mediterranean diet score, red and processed meat intake, and fiber intake [HR (95% CI): 0.91 (0.88 to 0.94), 0.80 (0.76 to 0.83), 0.69 (0.66 to 0.72), and 0.63 (0.59 to 0.66), respectively; PWald < 0.001 for trend]. Absolute death rates among participants in the highest and lowest fifth of DSR were 65.4 and 69.3 cases/10,000 person-years, respectively. Significant inverse associations were also observed between DSR and deaths due to cancer, heart disease, digestive disease, and respiratory disease. An important study limitation is that our findings were based on an observational cohort using self-reported dietary data obtained through single baseline food frequency questionnaires (FFQs); thus, exposure misclassification and residual confounding cannot be ruled out.

Conclusions: In this large Pan-European cohort, higher DSR was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality, independent of sociodemographic, lifestyle, and other known dietary risk factors. Our findings support the potential of food (species) biodiversity as a guiding principle of sustainable dietary recommendations and food-based dietary guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559947PMC
October 2021

Alcohol and Cancer: Epidemiology and Biological Mechanisms.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 11;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 11.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

Approximately 4% of cancers worldwide are caused by alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of several cancer types, including cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract, liver, colorectum, and breast. In this review, we summarise the epidemiological evidence on alcohol and cancer risk and the mechanistic evidence of alcohol-mediated carcinogenesis. There are several mechanistic pathways by which the consumption of alcohol, as ethanol, is known to cause cancer, though some are still not fully understood. Ethanol's metabolite acetaldehyde can cause DNA damage and block DNA synthesis and repair, whilst both ethanol and acetaldehyde can disrupt DNA methylation. Ethanol can also induce inflammation and oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation and further DNA damage. One-carbon metabolism and folate levels are also impaired by ethanol. Other known mechanisms are discussed. Further understanding of the carcinogenic properties of alcohol and its metabolites will inform future research, but there is already a need for comprehensive alcohol control and cancer prevention strategies to reduce the burden of cancer attributable to alcohol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13093173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8470184PMC
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

Combined Lifestyle Behaviors and the Incidence of Common Cancer Types in the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study (NOWAC).

Clin Epidemiol 2021 16;13:721-734. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Department of Community Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Introduction: Only a small number of studies have examined the impact of combined lifestyle behaviors on cancer incidence, and never in a Norwegian population.

Purpose: To examine linear and nonlinear associations of combined lifestyle factors, assessed through a healthy lifestyle index (HLI), with the incidence of postmenopausal breast, colorectal, lung, postmenopausal endometrial, postmenopausal ovarian, pancreatic, and kidney cancer among women in Norway.

Methods: This prospective study included 96,869 women enrolled in the Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) cohort. Baseline information on lifestyle factors was collected between 1996 and 2004. The HLI was constructed from five lifestyle factors: physical activity level, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet. Each factor contributed 0 to 4 points to the HLI score, which ranged from 0 to 20, with higher scores representing a healthier lifestyle. Multiple imputation was used to handle missing data. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Restricted cubic splines were used to examine nonlinearity in the associations.

Results: The HRs for a one-point increment on the HLI score were 0.97 (95% CI: 0.96-0.98) for postmenopausal breast cancer, 0.98 (0.96-1.00) for colorectal cancer, 0.86 (0.84-0.87) for lung cancer, 0.93 (0.91-0.95) for postmenopausal endometrial cancer, 0.99 (0.96-1.02) for postmenopausal ovarian cancer, 0.92 (0.89-0.95) for pancreatic cancer, and 0.94 (0.91-0.97) for kidney cancer. Nonlinearity was observed for the inverse associations between HLI score and the incidence of lung cancer and postmenopausal breast cancer.

Conclusion: Based on our results, healthier lifestyle, as assessed by the HLI score, was associated with lower incidence of postmenopausal breast, colorectal, lung, postmenopausal endometrial, pancreatic, and kidney cancer among women, although the magnitude and linearity varied. Adoption of healthier lifestyle behaviors should be a public health priority to reduce the cancer burden among Norwegian women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S312864DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8378914PMC
August 2021

Global burden of cancer in 2020 attributable to alcohol consumption: a population-based study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 08;22(8):1071-1080

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Alcohol use is causally linked to multiple cancers. We present global, regional, and national estimates of alcohol-attributable cancer burden in 2020 to inform alcohol policy and cancer control across different settings globally.

Methods: In this population-based study, population attributable fractions (PAFs) calculated using a theoretical minimum-risk exposure of lifetime abstention and 2010 alcohol consumption estimates from the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (assuming a 10-year latency period between alcohol consumption and cancer diagnosis), combined with corresponding relative risk estimates from systematic literature reviews as part of the WCRF Continuous Update Project, were applied to cancer incidence data from GLOBOCAN 2020 to estimate new cancer cases attributable to alcohol. We also calculated the contribution of moderate (<20 g per day), risky (20-60 g per day), and heavy (>60 g per day) drinking to the total alcohol-attributable cancer burden, as well as the contribution by 10 g per day increment (up to a maximum of 150 g). 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) were estimated using a Monte Carlo-like approach.

Findings: Globally, an estimated 741 300 (95% UI 558 500-951 200), or 4·1% (3·1-5·3), of all new cases of cancer in 2020 were attributable to alcohol consumption. Males accounted for 568 700 (76·7%; 95% UI 422 500-731 100) of total alcohol-attributable cancer cases, and cancers of the oesophagus (189 700 cases [110 900-274 600]), liver (154 700 cases [43 700-281 500]), and breast (98 300 cases [68 200-130 500]) contributed the most cases. PAFs were lowest in northern Africa (0·3% [95% UI 0·1-3·3]) and western Asia (0·7% [0·5-1·2]), and highest in eastern Asia (5·7% [3·6-7·9]) and central and eastern Europe (5·6% [4·6-6·6]). The largest burden of alcohol-attributable cancers was represented by heavy drinking (346 400 [46·7%; 95% UI 227 900-489 400] cases) and risky drinking (291 800 [39·4%; 227 700-333 100] cases), whereas moderate drinking contributed 103 100 (13·9%; 82 600-207 200) cases, and drinking up to 10 g per day contributed 41 300 (35 400-145 800) cases.

Interpretation: Our findings highlight the need for effective policy and interventions to increase awareness of cancer risks associated with alcohol use and decrease overall alcohol consumption to prevent the burden of alcohol-attributable cancers.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00279-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324483PMC
August 2021

Plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and pancreatic cancer risk.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

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

Background: Findings and limitations of previous studies on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pancreatic cancer risk support conducting further research in prospective cohorts.

Methods: We conducted a prospective case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Participants were 513 pancreatic cancer cases and 1020 matched controls. Concentrations of 22 POPs were measured in plasma collected at baseline.

Results: Some associations were observed at higher concentrations of p, p'-DDT, trans-nonachlor, β-hexachlorocyclohexane and the sum of six organochlorine pesticides and of 16 POPs. The odds ratio (OR) for the upper quartile of trans-nonachlor was 1.55 (95% confidence interval 1.06-2.26; P for trend = 0.025). Associations were stronger in the groups predefined as most valid (participants having fasted >6 h, with microscopic diagnostic confirmation, normal weight, and never smokers), and as most relevant (follow-up ≥10 years). Among participants having fasted >6 h, the ORs were relevant for 10 of 11 exposures. Higher ORs were also observed among cases with microscopic confirmation than in cases with a clinical diagnosis, and among normal-weight participants than in the rest of participants. Among participants with a follow-up ≥10 years, estimates were higher than in participants with a shorter follow-up (for trans-nonachlor: OR = 2.14, 1.01 to 4.53, P for trend = 0.035). Overall, trans-nonachlor, three PCBs and the two sums of POPs were the exposures most clearly associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Conclusions: Individually or in combination, most of the 22 POPs analysed did not or only moderately increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab115DOI Listing
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

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 Nov;113(11):1542-1550

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 because of 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 to 4.27) and pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.99) in EPIC and liver cancer (OR = 2.00, 95% CI = 1.44 to 2.77) and liver disease mortality (OR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.63 to 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 to 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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8562969PMC
November 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A comparison of complementary measures of vitamin B6 status, function, and metabolism in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 07;114(1):338-347

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

Background: Vitamin B6 insufficiency has been linked to increased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The circulating concentration of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is a commonly used measure of vitamin B6 status. Ratios of substrates indicating PLP coenzymatic function and metabolism may be useful complementary measures to further explore the role of vitamin B6 in health.

Objectives: We explored the sensitivity of 5 outcomes, namely PLP concentration, homocysteine:cysteine (Hcy:Cys), cystathionine:cysteine (Cysta:Cys), the 3´-hydroxykynurenine ratio (HKr), and the 4-pyridoxic acid ratio (PAr) to vitamin B6 intake as well as personal and lifestyle characteristics.

Medthods: Dietary intake and biomarker data were collected from participants from 3 nested case-control studies within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Bayesian regression models assessed the associations of the 5 biomarker outcomes with vitamin B6 intake and personal and lifestyle covariates. Analogous models examined the relations of Hcy:Cys, Cysta:Cys, and HKr with PLP.

Results: In total, 4608 participants were included in the analyses. Vitamin B6 intake was most strongly associated with PLP, moderately associated with Hcy:Cys, Cysta:Cys, and HKr, and not associated with PAr (fold change in marker given a doubling of vitamin B6 intake: PLP 1.60 [95% credible interval (CrI): 1.50, 1.71]; Hcy:Cys 0.87 [95% CrI: 0.84, 0.90]; Cysta:Cys 0.89 [95% CrI: 0.84, 0.94]; HKr 0.88 [95% CrI: 0.85, 0.91]; PAr 1.00 [95% CrI: 0.95, 1.05]). PAr was most sensitive to age, and HKr was least sensitive to BMI and alcohol intake. Sex and menopause status were strongly associated with all 5 markers.

Conclusions: We found that 5 different markers, capturing different aspects of vitamin B6-related biological processes, varied in their associations with vitamin B6 intake and personal and lifestyle predictors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246608PMC
July 2021

Long-term weight change and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK.

Background: The role of obesity and weight change in breast-cancer development is complex and incompletely understood. We investigated long-term weight change and breast-cancer risk by body mass index (BMI) at age 20 years, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and hormone-receptor status.

Methods: Using data on weight collected at three different time points from women who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, we investigated the association between weight change from age 20 years until middle adulthood and risk of breast cancer.

Results: In total, 150 257 women with a median age of 51 years at cohort entry were followed for an average of 14 years (standard deviation = 3.9) during which 6532 breast-cancer cases occurred. Compared with women with stable weight (±2.5 kg), long-term weight gain >10 kg was positively associated with postmenopausal breast-cancer risk in women who were lean at age 20 [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.42; 95% confidence interval 1.22-1.65] in ever HRT users (HR = 1.23; 1.04-1.44), in never HRT users (HR = 1.40; 1.16-1.68) and in oestrogen-and-progesterone-receptor-positive (ER+PR+) breast cancer (HR = 1.46; 1.15-1.85).

Conclusion: Long-term weight gain was positively associated with postmenopausal breast cancer in women who were lean at age 20, both in HRT ever users and non-users, and hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab032DOI Listing
March 2021

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

Int J Cancer 2021 06 22;148(11):2759-2773. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.

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

Taxonomic Composition and Diversity of the Gut Microbiota in Relation to Habitual Dietary Intake in Korean Adults.

Nutrients 2021 Jan 26;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), 69008 Lyon, France.

We investigated associations of habitual dietary intake with the taxonomic composition and diversity of the human gut microbiota in 222 Koreans aged 18-58 years in a cross-sectional study. Gut microbiota data were obtained by 16S rRNA gene sequencing on DNA extracted from fecal samples. The habitual diet for the previous year was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. After multivariable adjustment, intake of several food groups including vegetables, fermented legumes, legumes, dairy products, processed meat, and non-alcoholic beverages were associated with major phyla of the gut microbiota. A dietary pattern related to higher α-diversity (HiαDP) derived by reduced rank regression was characterized by higher intakes of fermented legumes, vegetables, seaweeds, and nuts/seeds and lower intakes of non-alcoholic beverages. The HiαDP was positively associated with several genera of such as , , and (all < 0.05). Among enterotypes identified by principal coordinate analysis based on the β-diversity, the enterotype had higher HiαDP scores and was strongly positively associated with intakes of vegetables, seaweeds, and nuts/seeds, compared to the two other enterotypes. We conclude that a plant- and fermented food-based diet was positively associated with some genera of (e.g., , , and ) reflecting better gut microbial health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13020366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912254PMC
January 2021

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

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

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

Association between anthropometry and lifestyle factors and risk of B-cell lymphoma: An exposome-wide analysis.

Int J Cancer 2021 05 12;148(9):2115-2128. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Oncology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

To better understand the role of individual and lifestyle factors in human disease, an exposome-wide association study was performed to investigate within a single-study anthropometry measures and lifestyle factors previously associated with B-cell lymphoma (BCL). Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study, 2402 incident BCL cases were diagnosed from 475 426 participants that were followed-up on average 14 years. Standard and penalized Cox regression models as well as principal component analysis (PCA) were used to evaluate 84 exposures in relation to BCL risk. Standard and penalized Cox regression models showed a positive association between anthropometric measures and BCL and multiple myeloma/plasma cell neoplasm (MM). The penalized Cox models additionally showed the association between several exposures from categories of physical activity, smoking status, medical history, socioeconomic position, diet and BCL and/or the subtypes. PCAs confirmed the individual associations but also showed additional observations. The PC5 including anthropometry, was positively associated with BCL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and MM. There was a significant positive association between consumption of sugar and confectionary (PC11) and follicular lymphoma risk, and an inverse association between fish and shellfish and Vitamin D (PC15) and DLBCL risk. The PC1 including features of the Mediterranean diet and diet with lower inflammatory score showed an inverse association with BCL risk, while the PC7, including dairy, was positively associated with BCL and DLBCL risk. Physical activity (PC10) was positively associated with DLBCL risk among women. This study provided informative insights on the etiology of BCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048490PMC
May 2021

Weight change in middle adulthood and risk of cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Cancer 2021 04 9;148(7):1637-1651. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Turin, Italy.

Obesity is a risk factor for several major cancers. Associations of weight change in middle adulthood with cancer risk, however, are less clear. We examined the association of change in weight and body mass index (BMI) category during middle adulthood with 42 cancers, using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Of 241 323 participants (31% men), 20% lost and 32% gained weight (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) during 6.9 years (average). During 8.0 years of follow-up after the second weight assessment, 20 960 incident cancers were ascertained. Independent of baseline BMI, weight gain (per one kg/year increment) was positively associated with cancer of the corpus uteri (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.05-1.23). Compared to stable weight (±0.4 kg/year), weight gain (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) was positively associated with cancers of the gallbladder and bile ducts (HR = 1.41; 1.01-1.96), postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.08; 1.00-1.16) and thyroid (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.90). Compared to maintaining normal weight, maintaining overweight or obese BMI (World Health Organisation categories) was positively associated with most obesity-related cancers. Compared to maintaining the baseline BMI category, weight gain to a higher BMI category was positively associated with cancers of the postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.19; 1.06-1.33), ovary (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.91), corpus uteri (HR = 1.42; 1.06-1.91), kidney (HR = 1.80; 1.20-2.68) and pancreas in men (HR = 1.81; 1.11-2.95). Losing weight to a lower BMI category, however, was inversely associated with cancers of the corpus uteri (HR = 0.40; 0.23-0.69) and colon (HR = 0.69; 0.52-0.92). Our findings support avoiding weight gain and encouraging weight loss in middle adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33339DOI Listing
April 2021

Adiposity and Endometrial Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women: A Sequential Causal Mediation Analysis.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 01 2;30(1):104-113. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

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

Background: Adiposity increases endometrial cancer risk, possibly through inflammation, hyperinsulinemia, and increasing estrogens. We aimed to quantify the mediating effects of adiponectin (anti-inflammatory adipocytokine); IL6, IL1-receptor antagonist, TNF receptor 1 and 2, and C-reactive protein (inflammatory status biomarkers); C-peptide (hyperinsulinemia biomarker); and free estradiol and estrone (estrogen biomarkers) in the adiposity-endometrial cancer link in postmenopausal women.

Methods: We used data from a case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Eligible women did not have cancer, hysterectomy, and diabetes; did not use oral contraceptives or hormone therapy; and were postmenopausal at recruitment. Mediating pathways from adiposity to endometrial cancer were investigated by estimating natural indirect (NIE) and direct (NDE) effects using sequential mediation analysis.

Results: The study included 163 cases and 306 controls. The adjusted OR for endometrial cancer for body mass index (BMI) ≥30 versus ≥18.5-<25 kg/m was 2.51 (95% confidence interval, 1.26-5.02). The ORs were 1.95 (1.01-3.74) through all biomarkers [72% proportion mediated (PM)] decomposed as: 1.35 (1.06-1.73) through pathways originating with adiponectin (33% PM); 1.13 (0.71-1.80) through inflammation beyond (the potential influence of) adiponectin (13% PM); 1.05 (0.88-1.24) through C-peptide beyond adiponectin and inflammation (5% PM); and 1.22 (0.89-1.67) through estrogens beyond preceding biomarkers (21% PM). The OR not through biomarkers was 1.29 (0.54-3.09). Waist circumference gave similar results.

Conclusions: Reduced adiponectin and increased inflammatory biomarkers, C-peptide, and estrogens mediated approximately 70% of increased odds of endometrial cancer in women with obesity versus normal weight.

Impact: If replicated, these results could have implications for identifying targets for intervention to reduce endometrial cancer risk in women with obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0965DOI Listing
January 2021

Association between nutritional profiles of foods underlying Nutri-Score front-of-pack labels and mortality: EPIC cohort study in 10 European countries.

BMJ 2020 09 16;370:m3173. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

AOU Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Objective: To determine if the Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system (FSAm-NPS), which grades the nutritional quality of food products and is used to derive the Nutri-Score front-of-packet label to guide consumers towards healthier food choices, is associated with mortality.

Design: Population based cohort study.

Setting: European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort from 23 centres in 10 European countries.

Participants: 521 324 adults; at recruitment, country specific and validated dietary questionnaires were used to assess their usual dietary intakes. A FSAm-NPS score was calculated for each food item per 100 g content of energy, sugars, saturated fatty acids, sodium, fibre, and protein, and of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. The FSAm-NPS dietary index was calculated for each participant as an energy weighted mean of the FSAm-NPS score of all foods consumed. The higher the score the lower the overall nutritional quality of the diet.

Main Outcome Measure: Associations between the FSAm-NPS dietary index score and mortality, assessed using multivariable adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results: After exclusions, 501 594 adults (median follow-up 17.2 years, 8 162 730 person years) were included in the analyses. Those with a higher FSAm-NPS dietary index score (highest versus lowest fifth) showed an increased risk of all cause mortality (n=53 112 events from non-external causes; hazard ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.10, P<0.001 for trend) and mortality from cancer (1.08, 1.03 to 1.13, P<0.001 for trend) and diseases of the circulatory (1.04, 0.98 to 1.11, P=0.06 for trend), respiratory (1.39, 1.22 to 1.59, P<0.001), and digestive (1.22, 1.02 to 1.45, P=0.03 for trend) systems. The age standardised absolute rates for all cause mortality per 10 000 persons over 10 years were 760 (men=1237; women=563) for those in the highest fifth of the FSAm-NPS dietary index score and 661 (men=1008; women=518) for those in the lowest fifth.

Conclusions: In this large multinational European cohort, consuming foods with a higher FSAm-NPS score (lower nutritional quality) was associated with a higher mortality for all causes and for cancer and diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems, supporting the relevance of FSAm-NPS to characterise healthier food choices in the context of public health policies (eg, the Nutri-Score) for European populations. This is important considering ongoing discussions about the potential implementation of a unique nutrition labelling system at the European Union level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491938PMC
September 2020

Circulating bilirubin levels and risk of colorectal cancer: serological and Mendelian randomization analyses.

BMC Med 2020 09 3;18(1):229. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Background: Bilirubin, a byproduct of hemoglobin breakdown and purported anti-oxidant, is thought to be cancer preventive. We conducted complementary serological and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses to investigate whether alterations in circulating levels of bilirubin are associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). We decided a priori to perform analyses separately in men and women based on suggestive evidence that associations may differ by sex.

Methods: In a case-control study nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), pre-diagnostic unconjugated bilirubin (UCB, the main component of total bilirubin) concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in plasma samples of 1386 CRC cases and their individually matched controls. Additionally, 115 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated (P < 5 × 10) with circulating total bilirubin were instrumented in a 2-sample MR to test for a potential causal effect of bilirubin on CRC risk in 52,775 CRC cases and 45,940 matched controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO), the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), and the Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT) study.

Results: The associations between circulating UCB levels and CRC risk differed by sex (P = 0.008). Among men, higher levels of UCB were positively associated with CRC risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.04-1.36; per 1-SD increment of log-UCB). In women, an inverse association was observed (OR = 0.86 (0.76-0.97)). In the MR analysis of the main UGT1A1 SNP (rs6431625), genetically predicted higher levels of total bilirubin were associated with a 7% increase in CRC risk in men (OR = 1.07 (1.02-1.12); P = 0.006; per 1-SD increment of total bilirubin), while there was no association in women (OR = 1.01 (0.96-1.06); P = 0.73). Raised bilirubin levels, predicted by instrumental variables excluding rs6431625, were suggestive of an inverse association with CRC in men, but not in women. These differences by sex did not reach formal statistical significance (P ≥ 0.2).

Conclusions: Additional insight into the relationship between circulating bilirubin and CRC is needed in order to conclude on a potential causal role of bilirubin in CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01703-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7469292PMC
September 2020

Management of metabolic adverse events of targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients: an Associazione Italiana Oncologia Medica (AIOM)/Associazione Medici Diabetologi (AMD)/Società Italiana Farmacologia (SIF) multidisciplinary consensus position paper.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2020 Oct 15;154:103066. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Oncological Endocrinology Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Torino, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

The growing insights in the next-generation immunotherapy and the state-of-the-art advancement in targeted-agents significantly improved clinical outcome of cancer patients by pointing towards a unexplored Achilles' heel. Novel toxicity profiles have been uncovered, representing unmet medical needs. Thus, a panel of expert provide comprehensive pharmacological and clinical evidence, to provide a patient-tailored approach to metabolic adverse events associated with novel anti-cancer treatments. Prompted by the need of a multidisciplinary cooperation, a working group of Associazione Italiana Oncologia Medica (AIOM), Associazione Medici Diabetologi (AMD) and Società Italiana Farmacologia (SIF) examined the available literature data. The identification of patient risk profile and the characterization of metabolic effects of novel anti-tumour drugs is clearly a clinical challenge that can be addressed by a multidisciplinary clinical approach. Therefore, this review pinpoints the relevance of the challenging profiling of the patient suffering from dysmetabolic conditions induced by the novel therapeutics in medical oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103066DOI Listing
October 2020

Mediating effect of soluble B-cell activation immune markers on the association between anthropometric and lifestyle factors and lymphoma development.

Sci Rep 2020 08 14;10(1):13814. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80178, 3508 TD, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Sustained B-cell activation is an important mechanism contributing to B-cell lymphoma (BCL). We aimed to validate four previously reported B-cell activation markers predictive of BCL risk (sCD23, sCD27, sCD30, and CXCL13) and to examine their possible mediating effects on the association between anthropometric and lifestyle factors and major BCL subtypes. Pre-diagnostic serum levels were measured for 517 BCL cases and 525 controls in a nested case-control study. The odds ratios of BCL were 6.2 in the highest versus lowest quartile for sCD23, 2.6 for sCD30, 4.2 for sCD27, and 2.6 for CXCL13. Higher levels of all markers were associated with increased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular lymphoma (FL), and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Following mutual adjustment for the other immune markers, sCD23 remained associated with all subtypes and CXCL13 with FL and DLBCL. The associations of sCD23 with CLL and DLBCL and CXCL13 with DLBCL persisted among cases sampled > 9 years before diagnosis. sCD23 showed a good predictive ability (area under the curve = 0.80) for CLL, in particular among older, male participants. sCD23 and CXCL13 showed a mediating effect between body mass index (positive) and DLBCL risk, while CXCL13 contributed to the association between physical activity (inverse) and DLBCL. Our data suggest a role of B-cell activation in BCL development and a mediating role of the immune system for lifestyle factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70790-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429856PMC
August 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

Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of coronary heart disease: a pan-European cohort study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 09;112(3):631-643

Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, University Paris-South, Faculty of Medicine, University Versailles-St Quentin, National Institute for Health and Medical Research, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Background: High carbohydrate intake raises blood triglycerides, glucose, and insulin; reduces HDLs; and may increase risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Epidemiological studies indicate that high dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are associated with increased CHD risk.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine whether dietary GI, GL, and available carbohydrates are associated with CHD risk in both sexes.

Methods: This large prospective study-the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-consisted of 338,325 participants who completed a dietary questionnaire. HRs with 95% CIs for a CHD event, in relation to intake of GI, GL, and carbohydrates, were estimated using covariate-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: After 12.8 y (median), 6378 participants had experienced a CHD event. High GL was associated with greater CHD risk [HR 1.16 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.31) highest vs. lowest quintile, p-trend 0.035; HR 1.18 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.29) per 50 g/day of GL intake]. The association between GL and CHD risk was evident in subjects with BMI (in kg/m2) ≥25 [HR: 1.22 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.35) per 50 g/d] but not in those with BMI <25 [HR: 1.09 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.22) per 50 g/d) (P-interaction = 0.022). The GL-CHD association did not differ between men [HR: 1.19 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.30) per 50 g/d] and women [HR: 1.22 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.40) per 50 g/d] (test for interaction not significant). GI was associated with CHD risk only in the continuous model [HR: 1.04 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.08) per 5 units/d]. High available carbohydrate was associated with greater CHD risk [HR: 1.11 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.18) per 50 g/d]. High sugar intake was associated with greater CHD risk [HR: 1.09 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.17) per 50 g/d].

Conclusions: This large pan-European study provides robust additional support for the hypothesis that a diet that induces a high glucose response is associated with greater CHD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7458777PMC
September 2020
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