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1.  Combined Impact of Lifestyle-Related Factors on Total and Cause-Specific Mortality among Chinese Women: Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(9):e1000339.
Findings from the Shanghai Women's Health Study confirm those derived from other, principally Western, cohorts regarding the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors on mortality.
Background
Although cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, obesity, and several other well-studied unhealthy lifestyle-related factors each have been linked to the risk of multiple chronic diseases and premature death, little is known about the combined impact on mortality outcomes, in particular among Chinese and other non-Western populations. The objective of this study was to quantify the overall impact of lifestyle-related factors beyond that of active cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Chinese women.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the Shanghai Women's Health Study, an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study in China. Participants included 71,243 women aged 40 to 70 years enrolled during 1996–2000 who never smoked or drank alcohol regularly. A healthy lifestyle score was created on the basis of five lifestyle-related factors shown to be independently associated with mortality outcomes (normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, daily exercise, never exposed to spouse's smoking, higher daily fruit and vegetable intake). The score ranged from zero (least healthy) to five (most healthy) points. During an average follow-up of 9 years, 2,860 deaths occurred, including 775 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 1,351 from cancer. Adjusted hazard ratios for mortality decreased progressively with an increasing number of healthy lifestyle factors. Compared to women with a score of zero, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for women with four to five factors were 0.57 (0.44–0.74) for total mortality, 0.29 (0.16–0.54) for CVD mortality, and 0.76 (0.54–1.06) for cancer mortality. The inverse association between the healthy lifestyle score and mortality was seen consistently regardless of chronic disease status at baseline. The population attributable risks for not having 4–5 healthy lifestyle factors were 33% for total deaths, 59% for CVD deaths, and 19% for cancer deaths.
Conclusions
In this first study, to our knowledge, to quantify the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors on mortality outcomes in Chinese women, a healthier lifestyle pattern—including being of normal weight, lower central adiposity, participation in physical activity, nonexposure to spousal smoking, and higher fruit and vegetable intake—was associated with reductions in total and cause-specific mortality among lifetime nonsmoking and nondrinking women, supporting the importance of overall lifestyle modification in disease prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
It is well established that lifestyle-related factors, such as limited physical activity, unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to tobacco smoke are linked to an increased risk of many chronic diseases and premature death. However, few studies have investigated the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors and mortality outcomes, and most of such studies of combinations of established lifestyle factors and mortality have been conducted in the US and Western Europe. In addition, little is currently known about the combined impact on mortality of lifestyle factors beyond that of active smoking and alcohol consumption.
Why Was This Study Done?
Lifestyles in regions of the world can vary considerably. For example, many women in Asia do not actively smoke or regularly drink alcohol, which are important facts to note when considering practical disease prevention measures for these women. Therefore, it is important to study the combination of lifestyle factors appropriate to this population.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the Shanghai Women's Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of almost 75,000 Chinese women aged 40–70 years, as the basis for their analysis. The Shanghai Women's Health Study has comprehensive baseline data on anthropometric measurements, lifestyle habits (including the responses to validated food frequency and physical activity questionnaires), medical history, occupational history, and select information from each participant's spouse, such as smoking history and alcohol consumption. This information was used by the researchers to create a healthy lifestyle score on the basis of five lifestyle-related factors shown to be independently associated with mortality outcomes in this population: normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, daily exercise, never being exposed to spouse's smoking, and higher daily fruit and vegetable intake. The score ranged from zero (least healthy) to five (most healthy) points. The researchers found that higher healthy lifestyle scores were significantly associated with decreasing mortality and that this association persisted for all women regardless of their baseline comorbidities. So in effect, healthier lifestyle-related factors, including normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, participation in exercise, never being exposed to spousal smoking, and higher daily fruit and vegetable intake, were significantly and independently associated with lower risk of total, and cause-specific, mortality.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This large prospective cohort study conducted among lifetime nonsmokers and nonalcohol drinkers shows that lifestyle factors, other than active smoking and alcohol consumption, have a major combined impact on total mortality on a scale comparable to the effect of smoking—the leading cause of death in most populations. However, the sample sizes for some cause-specific analyses were relatively small (despite the overall large sample size), and extended follow-up of this cohort will provide the opportunity to further evaluate the impact of these lifestyle-related factors on mortality outcomes in the future.
The findings of this study highlight the importance of overall lifestyle modification in disease prevention, especially as most of the lifestyle-related factors studied here may be improved by individual motivation to change unhealthy behaviors. Further research is needed to design appropriate interventions to increase these healthy lifestyle factors among Asian women.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000339
The Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center has more information on the Shanghai Women's Health Study
The World Health Organization provides information on health in China
The document Health policy and systems research in Chinacontains information about health policy and health systems research in China
The Chinese Ministry of Healthalso provides health information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000339
PMCID: PMC2939020  PMID: 20856900
2.  Burden of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Related to Tobacco Smoking among Adults Aged ≥45 Years in Asia: A Pooled Analysis of 21 Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001631.
Wei Zheng and colleagues quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths for adults in Asia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases. We sought to quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths in Asia, in parts of which men's smoking prevalence is among the world's highest.
Methods and Findings
We performed pooled analyses of data from 1,049,929 participants in 21 cohorts in Asia to quantify the risks of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco smoking using adjusted hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals. We then estimated smoking-related deaths among adults aged ≥45 y in 2004 in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—accounting for ∼71% of Asia's total population. An approximately 1.44-fold (95% CI = 1.37–1.51) and 1.48-fold (1.38–1.58) elevated risk of death from any cause was found in male and female ever-smokers, respectively. In 2004, active tobacco smoking accounted for approximately 15.8% (95% CI = 14.3%–17.2%) and 3.3% (2.6%–4.0%) of deaths, respectively, in men and women aged ≥45 y in the seven countries/regions combined, with a total number of estimated deaths of ∼1,575,500 (95% CI = 1,398,000–1,744,700). Among men, approximately 11.4%, 30.5%, and 19.8% of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases, respectively, were attributable to tobacco smoking. Corresponding proportions for East Asian women were 3.7%, 4.6%, and 1.7%, respectively. The strongest association with tobacco smoking was found for lung cancer: a 3- to 4-fold elevated risk, accounting for 60.5% and 16.7% of lung cancer deaths, respectively, in Asian men and East Asian women aged ≥45 y.
Conclusions
Tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially elevated risk of mortality, accounting for approximately 2 million deaths in adults aged ≥45 y throughout Asia in 2004. It is likely that smoking-related deaths in Asia will continue to rise over the next few decades if no effective smoking control programs are implemented.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, more than 5 million smokers die from tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (conditions that affect the heart and the circulation), respiratory disease (conditions that affect breathing), lung cancer, and several other types of cancer. All told, tobacco smoking kills up to half its users. The ongoing global “epidemic” of tobacco smoking and tobacco-related diseases initially affected people living in the US and other Western countries, where the prevalence of smoking (the proportion of the population that smokes) in men began to rise in the early 1900s, peaking in the 1960s. A similar epidemic occurred in women about 40 years later. Smoking-related deaths began to increase in the second half of the 20th century, and by the 1990s, tobacco smoking accounted for a third of all deaths and about half of cancer deaths among men in the US and other Western countries. More recently, increased awareness of the risks of smoking and the introduction of various tobacco control measures has led to a steady decline in tobacco use and in smoking-related diseases in many developed countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, less well-developed tobacco control programs, inadequate public awareness of smoking risks, and tobacco company marketing have recently led to sharp increases in the prevalence of smoking in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia. More than 50% of men in many Asian countries are now smokers, about twice the prevalence in many Western countries, and more women in some Asian countries are smoking than previously. More than half of the world's billion smokers now live in Asia. However, little is known about the burden of tobacco-related mortality (deaths) in this region. In this study, the researchers quantify the risk of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco use among adults aged 45 years or older by undertaking a pooled statistical analysis of data collected from 21 Asian cohorts (groups) about their smoking history and health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their study, the researchers used data from more than 1 million participants enrolled in studies undertaken in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (which together account for 71% of Asia's total population). Smoking prevalences among male and female participants were 65.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Compared with never-smokers, ever-smokers had a higher risk of death from any cause in pooled analyses of all the cohorts (adjusted hazard ratios [HRs] of 1.44 and 1.48 for men and women, respectively; an adjusted HR indicates how often an event occurs in one group compared to another group after adjustment for other characteristics that affect an individual's risk of the event). Compared with never smoking, ever smoking was associated with a higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer (particularly lung cancer), and respiratory disease among Asian men and among East Asian women. Moreover, the researchers estimate that, in the countries included in this study, tobacco smoking accounted for 15.8% of all deaths among men and 3.3% of deaths among women in 2004—a total of about 1.5 million deaths, which scales up to 2 million deaths for the population of the whole of Asia. Notably, in 2004, tobacco smoking accounted for 60.5% of lung-cancer deaths among Asian men and 16.7% of lung-cancer deaths among East Asian women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially raised risk of death among adults aged 45 years or older throughout Asia. The association between smoking and mortality risk in Asia reported here is weaker than that previously reported for Western countries, possibly because widespread tobacco smoking started several decades later in most Asian countries than in Europe and North America and the deleterious effects of smoking take some years to become evident. The researchers note that certain limitations of their analysis are likely to affect the accuracy of its findings. For example, because no data were available to estimate the impact of secondhand smoke, the estimate of deaths attributable to smoking is likely to be an underestimate. However, the finding that nearly 45% of the global deaths from active tobacco smoking occur in Asia highlights the urgent need to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs in Asia to reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631.
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international instrument for tobacco control that came into force in February 2005 and requires parties to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes; its 2013 report on the global tobacco epidemic is available
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about all aspects of smoking and tobacco use
The UK National Health Services Choices website provides information about the health risks associated with smoking
MedlinePlus has links to further information about the dangers of smoking (in English and Spanish)
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631
PMCID: PMC3995657  PMID: 24756146
3.  The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(4):e1000058.
Majid Ezzati and colleagues examine US data on risk factor exposures and disease-specific mortality and find that smoking and hypertension, which both have effective interventions, are responsible for the largest number of deaths.
Background
Knowledge of the number of deaths caused by risk factors is needed for health policy and priority setting. Our aim was to estimate the mortality effects of the following 12 modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors in the United States (US) using consistent and comparable methods: high blood glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure; overweight–obesity; high dietary trans fatty acids and salt; low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids (seafood), and fruits and vegetables; physical inactivity; alcohol use; and tobacco smoking.
Methods and Findings
We used data on risk factor exposures in the US population from nationally representative health surveys and disease-specific mortality statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. We obtained the etiological effects of risk factors on disease-specific mortality, by age, from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies that had adjusted (i) for major potential confounders, and (ii) where possible for regression dilution bias. We estimated the number of disease-specific deaths attributable to all non-optimal levels of each risk factor exposure, by age and sex. In 2005, tobacco smoking and high blood pressure were responsible for an estimated 467,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 436,000–500,000) and 395,000 (372,000–414,000) deaths, accounting for about one in five or six deaths in US adults. Overweight–obesity (216,000; 188,000–237,000) and physical inactivity (191,000; 164,000–222,000) were each responsible for nearly 1 in 10 deaths. High dietary salt (102,000; 97,000–107,000), low dietary omega-3 fatty acids (84,000; 72,000–96,000), and high dietary trans fatty acids (82,000; 63,000–97,000) were the dietary risks with the largest mortality effects. Although 26,000 (23,000–40,000) deaths from ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes were averted by current alcohol use, they were outweighed by 90,000 (88,000–94,000) deaths from other cardiovascular diseases, cancers, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, alcohol use disorders, road traffic and other injuries, and violence.
Conclusions
Smoking and high blood pressure, which both have effective interventions, are responsible for the largest number of deaths in the US. Other dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors for chronic diseases also cause a substantial number of deaths in the US.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
A number of modifiable factors are responsible for many premature or preventable deaths. For example, being overweight or obese shortens life expectancy, while half of all long-term tobacco smokers in Western populations will die prematurely from a disease directly related to smoking. Modifiable risk factors fall into three main groups. First, there are lifestyle risk factors. These include tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use (small amounts of alcohol may actually prevent diabetes and some types of heart disease and stroke). Second, there are dietary risk factors such as a high salt intake and a low intake of fruits and vegetables. Finally, there are “metabolic risk factors,” which shorten life expectancy by increasing a person's chances of developing cardiovascular disease (in particular, heart problems and strokes) and diabetes. Metabolic risk factors include having high blood pressure or blood cholesterol and being overweight or obese.
Why Was This Study Done?
It should be possible to reduce preventable deaths by changing modifiable risk factors through introducing public health policies, programs and regulations that reduce exposures to these risk factors. However, it is important to know how many deaths are caused by each risk factor before developing policies and programs that aim to improve a nation's health. Although previous studies have provided some information on the numbers of premature deaths caused by modifiable risk factors, there are two problems with these studies. First, they have not used consistent and comparable methods to estimate the number of deaths attributable to different risk factors. Second, they have rarely considered the effects of dietary and metabolic risk factors. In this new study, the researchers estimate the number of deaths due to 12 different modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors for the United States population. They use a method called “comparative risk assessment.” This approach estimates the number of deaths that would be prevented if current distributions of risk factor exposures were changed to hypothetical optimal distributions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted data on exposures to these 12 selected risk factors from US national health surveys, and they obtained information on deaths from difference diseases for 2005 from the US National Center for Health Statistics. They used previously published studies to estimate how much each risk factor increases the risk of death from each disease. The researchers then used a mathematical formula to estimate the numbers of deaths caused by each risk factor. Of the 2.5 million US deaths in 2005, they estimate that nearly half a million were associated with tobacco smoking and about 400,000 were associated with high blood pressure. These two risk factors therefore each accounted for about 1 in 5 deaths in US adults. Overweight–obesity and physical inactivity were each responsible for nearly 1 in 10 deaths. Among the dietary factors examined, high dietary salt intake had the largest effect, being responsible for 4% of deaths in adults. Finally, while alcohol use prevented 26,000 deaths from ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes, the researchers estimate that it caused 90,000 deaths from other types of cardiovascular diseases, other medical conditions, and road traffic accidents and violence.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that smoking and high blood pressure are responsible for the largest number of preventable deaths in the US, but that several other modifiable risk factors also cause many deaths. Although the accuracy of some of the estimates obtained in this study will be affected by the quality of the data used, these findings suggest that targeting a handful of risk factors could greatly reduce premature mortality in the US. The findings might also apply to other countries, although the risk factors responsible for most preventable deaths may vary between countries. Importantly, effective individual-level and population-wide interventions are already available to reduce people's exposure to the two risk factors responsible for most preventable deaths in the US. The researchers also suggest that combinations of regulation, pricing, and education have the potential to reduce the exposure of US residents to other risk factors that are likely to shorten their lives.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia contains a page on healthy living (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of healthy living
Healthy People 2010 is a national framework designed to improve the health of people living in the US. The Healthy People 2020 Framework is due to be launched in January 2010
The World Health Report 2002Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life provides a global analysis of how healthy life expectancy could be increased
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is “a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's site Smoking and Tobacco Use offers a large number of informational and data resources on this important risk factor
The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society provide a rich resource for patients and caregivers on many important risk factors including diet, sodium intake, and smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058
PMCID: PMC2667673  PMID: 19399161
4.  Adult Mortality Attributable to Preventable Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries in Japan: A Comparative Risk Assessment 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(1):e1001160.
Using a combination of published data and modeling, Nayu Ikeda and colleagues identify tobacco smoking and high blood pressure as major risk factors for death from noncommunicable diseases among adults in Japan.
Background
The population of Japan has achieved the longest life expectancy in the world. To further improve population health, consistent and comparative evidence on mortality attributable to preventable risk factors is necessary for setting priorities for health policies and programs. Although several past studies have quantified the impact of individual risk factors in Japan, to our knowledge no study has assessed and compared the effects of multiple modifiable risk factors for non-communicable diseases and injuries using a standard framework. We estimated the effects of 16 risk factors on cause-specific deaths and life expectancy in Japan.
Methods and Findings
We obtained data on risk factor exposures from the National Health and Nutrition Survey and epidemiological studies, data on the number of cause-specific deaths from vital records adjusted for ill-defined codes, and data on relative risks from epidemiological studies and meta-analyses. We applied a comparative risk assessment framework to estimate effects of excess risks on deaths and life expectancy at age 40 y. In 2007, tobacco smoking and high blood pressure accounted for 129,000 deaths (95% CI: 115,000–154,000) and 104,000 deaths (95% CI: 86,000–119,000), respectively, followed by physical inactivity (52,000 deaths, 95% CI: 47,000–58,000), high blood glucose (34,000 deaths, 95% CI: 26,000–43,000), high dietary salt intake (34,000 deaths, 95% CI: 27,000–39,000), and alcohol use (31,000 deaths, 95% CI: 28,000–35,000). In recent decades, cancer mortality attributable to tobacco smoking has increased in the elderly, while stroke mortality attributable to high blood pressure has declined. Life expectancy at age 40 y in 2007 would have been extended by 1.4 y for both sexes (men, 95% CI: 1.3–1.6; women, 95% CI: 1.2–1.7) if exposures to multiple cardiovascular risk factors had been reduced to their optimal levels as determined by a theoretical-minimum-risk exposure distribution.
Conclusions
Tobacco smoking and high blood pressure are the two major risk factors for adult mortality from non-communicable diseases and injuries in Japan. There is a large potential population health gain if multiple risk factors are jointly controlled.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, a small number of modifiable risk factors are responsible for many premature or preventable deaths. For example, having high blood pressure (hypertension) increases a person's risk of developing life-threatening heart problems and stroke (cardiovascular disease). Similarly, having a high blood sugar level increases the risk of developing diabetes, a chronic (long-term) disease that can lead to cardiovascular problems and kidney failure, and half of all long-term tobacco smokers in Western populations will die prematurely from diseases related to smoking, such as lung cancer. Importantly, the five major risk factors for death globally—high blood pressure, tobacco use, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity—are all modifiable. That is, lifestyle changes and dietary changes such as exercising more, reducing salt intake, and increasing fruit and vegetable intake can reduce an individual's exposure to these risk factors and one's chances of premature death. Moreover, public health programs designed to reduce a population's exposure to modifiable risk factors should reduce preventable deaths in that population.
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2000, the Japanese government initiated Health Japan 21, a ten-year national health promotion campaign designed to prevent premature death from non-communicable (noninfectious) diseases and injuries. This campaign set 59 goals to monitor and improve risk factor management in the Japanese population, which has one of the longest life expectancies at birth in the world (the life expectancy of a person born in Japan in 2009 was 83.1 years). Because the campaign's final evaluation revealed deterioration or no improvement on some of these goals, the Japanese government recently released new guidelines that stress the importance of simultaneously controlling multiple risk factors for chronic diseases. However, although several studies have quantified the impacts on life expectancy and cause-specific death of individual modifiable risk factors in Japan, the effects of multiple risk factors have not been assessed. In this study, the researchers use a “comparative risk assessment” framework to estimate the effects of 16 risk factors on cause-specific deaths and life expectancy in Japan. Comparative risk assessment estimates the number of deaths that would be prevented if current distributions of risk factor exposures were changed to hypothetical optimal distributions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers obtained data on exposure to the selected risk factors from the 2007 Japanese National Health and Nutrition Survey and from epidemiological studies, and information on the number of deaths in 2007 from different diseases from official records. They used published studies to estimate how much each factor increases the risk of death from each disease and then used a mathematical formula to estimate the effects of the risk factors on the number of deaths in Japan and on life expectancy at age 40. In 2007, tobacco smoking and high blood pressure accounted for 129,000 and 104,000 deaths, respectively, in Japan. Physical inactivity accounted for 52,000 deaths, high blood glucose and high dietary salt intake accounted for 34,000 deaths each, and alcohol use for 31,000 deaths. Life expectancy at age 40 in 2007 would have been extended by 1.4 years for both sexes, the researchers estimate, if exposure to multiple cardiovascular risk factors had been reduced to calculated optimal distributions, or by 0.7 years if these risk factors had been reduced to the distributions defined by national guidelines and goals.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings identify tobacco smoking and high blood pressure as the major risk factors for death from non-communicable diseases among adults in Japan, a result consistent with previous findings from the US. They also indicate that simultaneous control of multiple risk factors has great potential for producing health gains among the Japanese population. Although the researchers focused on estimating the effect of these risk factors on mortality and did not include illness and disability in this study, these findings nevertheless identify two areas of public health policy that need to be strengthened to improve health, reduce death rates, and increase life expectancy among the Japanese population. First, they highlight the need to reduce tobacco smoking, particularly among men. Second and most importantly, these findings emphasize the need to improve ongoing programs designed to help people manage multiple cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001160.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of healthy living
The World Health Report 2002—Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life provides a global analysis of how healthy life expectancy could be increased
The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society provide information on many important risk factors for noncommunicable diseases and include some personal stories about keeping healthy
Details about Health Japan 21 are provided by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Further details about this campaign are available from the World Health Organization
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources on healthy living and on healthy aging (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001160
PMCID: PMC3265534  PMID: 22291576
5.  Recent advances in oesophageal diseases 
Abstract
Dong Y, Qi B, Feng XY, Jiang CM. Meta-analysis of Barrett's esophagus in China. World J Gastroenterol 2013;19(46):8770-8779
The disease pattern of Barrett's esophagus (BE) in China is poorly characterised particularly in comparison with other developed countries. This meta-analysis of 3873 cases of BE collated from 69 clinical studies conducted in 25 provinces between 2000 and 2011 investigated the epidemiology and characteristics of BE in China compared to Western countries. The total endoscopic detection rate of BE was 1.0% (95%CI: 0.1%-1.8%) with an average patient age of 49.07 ± 5.09 years, lower than many Western countries.The authors postulate this may be attributed to environmental risk factor variation, distinct genetics and different medical practice including diagnostic criteria for BE and expertise in endoscopy. This study identified a 1.781 male predominancefor BE in China, consistent with Western reports. Short-segment BE accounted for 80.3% of cases with island type and cardiac type the most common endoscopic (44.8%) and histological (40.0%) manifestations respectively. Of the 1283 BE cases followed up for three to 36 months the incidence of esophageal cancer was 1.418 per 1000 person-years, lower than the incidence reported in Western countries.
Lee HS, Jeon SW. Barrett esophagus in Asia: same disease with different pattern. ClinEndosc 2014;47(1):15-22
Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a common, pre-cancerous condition characterised by intestinal metaplasia of squamous esophageal epithelium usually attributed to chronic gastric acid exposure. This review article explores important differences in the disease pattern of BE between Asian and the Western countries.
Overall the prevalence of BE is lower in Asia compared to the West with a greater proportion of short-segment type. The authors identify great variability in the endoscopic and pathologic diagnostic criteria for BE. Many of the studies in Asian countries did not use a standardised four-quadrant biopsy protocol which may have led to an underestimation of BE prevalence. The review highlights an increasing incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in the West but unclear disease trend in Asia with inter-country variability. Similarly in Asian and Western countries BE is associated with the presence of hiatus hernia, advancing age, male gender, alcohol consumption, smoking, abdominal obesity and longer duration of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. The authors postulate that Helicobacter pylori infection, more prevalent in Asia than the West, may have a protective effect on BE.
There is a need for larger, prospective studies to further clarify the disease pattern of BE in Asian countries. Clearly standardisation of the diagnostic process for BE is important to validate the differences in disease trends between Asian and Western countries.
Kiadaliri AA. Gender and social disparities in esophagus cancer incidence in Iran, 2003-2009: a time trend province-level study.Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014;15(2):623-7
Esophageal cancer (EC) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality particuarly in Iran where the incidence rate exceeds the global average. An understanding of the factors influencing the province-specific incidence of EC in Iran is important to inform disease-prevention strategies and address health inequalities. This ecological study used cancer registry data to investigate the relationship between gender and social class and the incidence of EC in Iran at province-level between 2003 and 2009. The age standardised incidence rates (ASIR) of EC were greatest in the Northern provinces of Iran, specifically Razavi Khorasan in males and Kordestan in females. Overall the EC incidence did not significantly differ according to gender.
Interestingly, during the study period the ASIR increased by 4.6% per year in females (p=0.08) and 6.5% per year in males (p=0.02). This may reflect increasing rates of establised risk factors for EC including obsesity and gastro-esophageal reflux disease alongside more vigilant recording of new cases. Social class was inversely associated with the ASIR of EC regardless of gender which may be attributed to class differences in risk factor distribution particularly smoking, diet and obesity. An appreciation for the limitations of an epidemiological study is important when interpreting results which should be further evaluated in future studies.
Islami F et al.Determinants of gastroesophageal reflux disease, including hookah smoking and opium use- A cross-sectional analysis of 50,000 individuals. PLoS One 2014;9(2):e89256
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a highly prevalent cause of gastrointestinal symptoms worldwide incurring great cost to the primary and secondary healthcare sectors. An improved understanding of the factors which influence GERD symptoms in low- to medium- income countries may inform public health initiatives. This study analysed prospective data from the Golestan cohort study, primarily established to investigate determinants of upper gastrointestinal cancers, toexplore the risk factors influencing GERD symptoms (regurgitation and/or heartburn) in 50,045 individuals aged 40-75 years in Golestan Province, Iran enrolled between 01/2004 and 06/2008.Of note, 39.12% of individuals denied ever experiencing GERD symptoms. A further 19.89% reported at least once weekly GERD symptoms with 11.83% experiencing daily symptoms. Severe symptoms, defined as disturbing daily work or sleep, were recorded by 11.33% of individuals.
Separately the occurrence of daily GERD symptoms and severe symptoms were inversely associated with male gender (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.33-0.39 both), level of formal education (p=0.01 and p=0.001 respectively), wealth score (p<0.001 both) and regular nass chewing (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.75-0.98 and OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76-0.99 respectively)and were positively associated with body mass index (p<0.001 both), intensity of physical activity (p=0.04 both), cigarette pack years (p<0.001 both), alcohol consumption (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.13-1.64 and OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28-1.83 respectively) and opium use (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.67-1.99 and OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.55-1.87 respectively).In addition hookah smoking had a borderline significant correlation with mild and moderate severity GERD symptoms in individuals who had never smoked cigarettes (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.00-1.99 and OR 1.25, 95% CI 0.99-1.57 respectively).
Overall this large study contributes useful data to inform the prevention and management of GERD symptoms particularly regarding the use of hookah, opium and nass which was previously unclear.
Barbera M et al. The human squamous oesophagus has widespread capacity for clonal expansion from cells at diverse stages of differentiation. Gut 2014;0:1–9. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306171
Current knowledge on human esophageal tissue homeostasis and injury repair is derived predominantly from murine models and hence may be inaccurate due to cellular and architectural differences. This study used 3D imaging in conjunction withstaining for cell lineage markers to investigate the cellular mechanisms involved in homeostasis of the normal human squamous esophagus in 10 participants undergoing esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. The self-renewal potential of cell subpopulations was also assessed using in vitro and in vivo assays.
A decreasing gradient of cell proliferation was observed from the inter-papillary basal layer to the tip of the papilla where there was no evidence of mitosis. The expression ofβ1-integrin, a putative stem cell marker, was consistent throughout the basal layer and therefore the entire basal layer can be considered undifferentiated. Quiescent β1-integrin/CD34-positive cells which failed to stain for CD45, S-100 or F4-80were identified at the tip of the papilla suggesting this is an extension of the basal layer. Contrary to previous data, this study found progenitor cells widely distributed in human esophageal tissue and included already differentiated epithelial cells. This insight into esophageal homeostasis may inform future studies exploring the pathological mechanisms underpinning homeostatic disruption in disease states such as Barrett's esophagus.
Papers were prepared by:
Drs Ishfaq Ahmad and Luke Materacki, Department of Medicine, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, UK
PMCID: PMC4129572  PMID: 25120902
6.  Attributable Causes of Cancer in China: Fruit and Vegetable 
Objective
To provide an evidence-based and consistent assessment of the burden of cancer attributable to inadequate fruit and vegetable intake in China in 2005.
Methods
The proportions of cancers attributable to low consumption of vegetable and fruit were calculated separately to estimate the burden of related cancers for the year 2005 in China. Data on the prevalence of exposure were derived from a Chinese nutrition and health survey. Data on relative risks were mainly derived from meta-analysis. Attributable fractions were calculated based on the counterfactual scenario which was a shift in the exposure distribution.
Results
The total cancer burden attributable to inadequate consumption of fruit was up to 233,000 deaths (13.0% of all cancers) and 300,000 cases (11.6% of all cancers) in 2005. Increasing consumption of vegetable to the highest quintile could avoid total cancer deaths and cases by 3.6% (64,000 persons) and 3.4% (88,000 persons). The contributions to cancer burden were higher in rural areas than in urban areas. They have greater influence on men than on women. The largest proportions of cancer burden attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake were for oral and pharyngeal cancers.
Conclusion
This study showed that inadequate intake of fruit and vegetable makes a significant contribution to the cancer burden. Increasing consumption of fruit and vegetable could prevent many cancer deaths and save many lives. Promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetable is an important component in diet-based strategies for preventing cancer.
doi:10.1007/s11670-011-0171-7
PMCID: PMC3587560  PMID: 23467575
Fruit; Vegetable; Cancer; Population attributable fraction; China
7.  Combined Impact of Health Behaviours and Mortality in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(1):e12.
Background
There is overwhelming evidence that behavioural factors influence health, but their combined impact on the general population is less well documented. We aimed to quantify the potential combined impact of four health behaviours on mortality in men and women living in the general community.
Methods and Findings
We examined the prospective relationship between lifestyle and mortality in a prospective population study of 20,244 men and women aged 45–79 y with no known cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline survey in 1993–1997, living in the general community in the United Kingdom, and followed up to 2006. Participants scored one point for each health behaviour: current non-smoking, not physically inactive, moderate alcohol intake (1–14 units a week) and plasma vitamin C >50 mmol/l indicating fruit and vegetable intake of at least five servings a day, for a total score ranging from zero to four. After an average 11 y follow-up, the age-, sex-, body mass–, and social class–adjusted relative risks (95% confidence intervals) for all-cause mortality(1,987 deaths) for men and women who had three, two, one, and zero compared to four health behaviours were respectively, 1.39 (1.21–1.60), 1.95 (1.70–-2.25), 2.52 (2.13–3.00), and 4.04 (2.95–5.54) p < 0.001 trend. The relationships were consistent in subgroups stratified by sex, age, body mass index, and social class, and after excluding deaths within 2 y. The trends were strongest for cardiovascular causes. The mortality risk for those with four compared to zero health behaviours was equivalent to being 14 y younger in chronological age.
Conclusions
Four health behaviours combined predict a 4-fold difference in total mortality in men and women, with an estimated impact equivalent to 14 y in chronological age.
From a large prospective population study, Kay-Tee Khaw and colleagues estimate the combined impact of four behaviors--not smoking, not being physically inactive, moderate alcohol intake, and at least five vegetable servings a day--amounts to 14 additional years of life.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every day, or so it seems, new research shows that some aspect of lifestyle—physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption, and so on—affects health and longevity. For the person in the street, all this information is confusing. What is a healthy diet, for example? Although there are some common themes such as the benefit of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, the details often differ between studies. And exactly how much physical activity is needed to improve health? Is a gentle daily walk sufficient or simply a stepping stone to doing enough exercise to make a real difference? The situation with alcohol consumption is equally confusing. Small amounts of alcohol apparently improve health but large amounts are harmful. As a result, it can be hard for public-health officials to find effective ways to encourage the behavioral changes that the scientific evidence suggests might influence the health of populations.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is another factor that is hindering official attempts to provide healthy lifestyle advice to the public. Although there is overwhelming evidence that individual behavioral factors influence health, there is very little information about their combined impact. If the combination of several small differences in lifestyle could be shown to have a marked effect on the health of populations, it might be easier to persuade people to make behavioral changes to improve their health, particularly if those changes were simple and relatively easy to achieve. In this study, which forms part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), the researchers have examined the relationship between lifestyle and the risk of dying using a health behavior score based on four simply defined behaviors—smoking, physical activity, alcohol drinking, and fruit and vegetable intake.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 1993 and 1997, about 20,000 men and women aged 45–79 living in Norfolk UK, none of whom had cancer or cardiovascular disease (heart or circulation problems), completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire, had a health examination, and had their blood vitamin C level measured as part of the EPIC-Norfolk study. A health behavior score of between 0 and 4 was calculated for each participant by giving one point for each of the following healthy behaviors: current non-smoking, not physically inactive (physical inactivity was defined as having a sedentary job and doing no recreational exercise), moderate alcohol intake (1–14 units a week; a unit of alcohol is half a pint of beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of spirit), and a blood vitamin C level consistent with a fruit and vegetable intake of at least five servings a day. Deaths among the participants were then recorded until 2006. After allowing for other factors that might have affected their likelihood of dying (for example, age), people with a health behavior score of 0 were four times as likely to have died (in particular, from cardiovascular disease) than those with a score of 4. People with a score of 2 were twice as likely to have died.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the combination of four simply defined health behaviors predicts a 4-fold difference in the risk of dying over an average period of 11 years for middle-aged and older people. They also show that the risk of death (particularly from cardiovascular disease) decreases as the number of positive health behaviors increase. Finally, they can be used to calculate that a person with a health score of 0 has the same risk of dying as a person with a health score of 4 who is 14 years older. These findings need to be confirmed in other populations and extended to an analysis of how these combined health behaviors affect the quality of life as well as the risk of death. Nevertheless, they strongly suggest that modest and achievable lifestyle changes could have a marked effect on the health of populations. Armed with this information, public-health officials should now be in a better position to encourage behavior changes likely to improve the health of middle-aged and older people.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia contains a page on healthy living (in English and Spanish)
The MedlinePlus page on seniors' health contains links to many sites dealing with healthy lifestyles and longevity (in English and Spanish)
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study is investigating the relationship between nutrition and lifestyle and the development of cancer and other chronic diseases; information about the EPIC-Norfolk study is also available
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on healthy aging for older adults, including information on health-related behaviors (in English and Spanish)
The UK charity Age Concerns provides a fact sheet about staying healthy in later life
The London Health Observatory, which provides information for policy makers and practitioners about improving health and health care, has a section on how lifestyle and behavior affect health
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012
PMCID: PMC2174962  PMID: 18184033
8.  Effect of the interaction between the amount and duration of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking on the risk of esophageal cancer: A case-control study 
The effects of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking on the prevalence of esophageal cancer vary considerably by country, race and lifestyle. Few data exist on the effect of the interaction between the amount and duration of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking on the incidence of esophageal cancer. In this case-control study, the cases included patients with histologically confirmed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) younger than 60 years of age and recruited between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2006. The controls had no abnormality during a medical checkup. A total of 835 pairs were created by pairing each case to a gender- and age-matched control. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals. Univariate conditional logistic regression analyses revealed that the ORs according to both duration of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking increased monotonically. Alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking may have a synergistic effect on the incidence of ESCC. Conditional logistic regression analysis using a forward stepwise selection procedure revealed that the incidence of ESCC was associated with the duration of tobacco smoking, the interaction between the amount and duration of alcohol consumption, and a family history of cancer. In particular, groups with a long duration of alcohol consumption and high alcohol intake had much higher ORs than those with short duration and low intake, which highlights the importance of the interaction between the amount and duration of alcohol intake. This study confirmed the significance of the interaction between alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking in esophageal cancer. This interaction between amount and duration is an accurate indicator for estimating the risk of esophageal cancer attributable to alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking. These findings suggest that decreasing the number of young and middle-aged drinkers and smokers will reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer.
doi:10.3892/etm.2010.152
PMCID: PMC3446748  PMID: 22993631
alcohol consumption; tobacco smoking; esophageal cancer; interaction between amount and duration
9.  Primary and Secondary Prevention of Colorectal Cancer 
INTRODUCTION
Cancer is a worldwide problem as it will affect one in three men and one in four women during their lifetime. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequent cancer in men, after lung and prostate cancer, and is the second most frequent cancer in women after breast cancer. It is also the third cause of death in men and women separately, and is the second most frequent cause of death by cancer if both genders are considered together. CRC represents approximately 10% of deaths by cancer. Modifiable risk factors of CRC include smoking, physical inactivity, being overweight and obesity, eating processed meat, and drinking alcohol excessively. CRC screening programs are possible only in economically developed countries. However, attention should be paid in the future to geographical areas with ageing populations and a western lifestyle.19,20 Sigmoidoscopy screening done with people aged 55–64 years has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of CRC by 33% and mortality by CRC by 43%.
OBJECTIVE
To assess the effect on the incidence and mortality of CRC diet and lifestyle and to determine the effect of secondary prevention through early diagnosis of CRC.
METHODOLOGY: A comprehensive search of Medline and Pubmed articles related to primary and secondary prevention of CRC and subsequently, a meta-analysis of the same blocks are performed.
RESULTS
225 articles related to primary or secondary prevention of CRC were retrieved. Of these 145 were considered valid on meta-analysis: 12 on epidemiology, 56 on diet and lifestyle, and over 77 different screenings for early detection of CRC. Cancer is a worldwide problem as it will affect one in three men and one in four women during their lifetime. There is no doubt whatsoever which environmental factors, probably diet, may account for these cancer rates. Excessive alcohol consumption and cholesterol-rich diet are associated with a high risk of colon cancer. A diet poor in folic acid and vitamin B6 is also associated with a higher risk of developing colon cancer with an overexpression of p53. Eating pulses at least three times a week lowers the risk of developing colon cancer by 33%, after eating less meat, while eating brown rice at least once a week cuts the risk of CRC by 40%. These associations suggest a dose–response effect. Frequently eating cooked green vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, pulses, and brown rice has been associated with a lower risk of colorectal polyps. High calcium intake offers a protector effect against distal colon and rectal tumors as compared with the proximal colon. Higher intake of dairy products and calcium reduces the risk of colon cancer. Taking an aspirin (ASA) regularly after being diagnosed with colon cancer is associated with less risk of dying from this cancer, especially among people who have tumors with COX-2 overexpression.16 Nonetheless, these data do not contradict the data obtained on a possible genetic predisposition, even in sporadic or non-hereditary CRC. CRC is susceptible to screening because it is a serious health problem given its high incidence and its associated high morbidity/mortality.
CONCLUSIONS
(1) Cancer is a worldwide problem. (2) A modification of diet and lifestyle could reduce morbidity and mortality. (3) Early detection through screening improves prognosis and reduces mortality.
doi:10.4137/CGast.S14039
PMCID: PMC4116379  PMID: 25093007
10.  Environmental Causes of Esophageal Cancer 
Synopsis
This articles reviews the environmental risk factors and predisposing conditions for the two main histological types of esophageal cancer, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA). Tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drinking maté, low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, achalasia, and low socioeconomic status increase the risk of ESCC. Results of investigations on several other potential risk factors, including opium consumption, intake of hot drinks, eating pickled vegetables, poor oral health, and exposure to human papillomavirus, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, N-nitroso compounds, acetaldehyde, and fumonisins are also discussed. Gastroesophageal reflux, obesity, tobacco smoking, hiatal hernia, achalasia, and probably absence of H. pylori in the stomach increase the risk of EA. Results of studies investigating other factors, including low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, consumption of carbonated soft drink, use of H2 blockers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and drugs that relax the lower esophageal sphincter are also discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.gtc.2009.01.004
PMCID: PMC2685172  PMID: 19327566
esophageal cancer; risk factor
11.  Alcohol, Tobacco and Diet in Relation to Esophageal Cancer: The Shanghai Cohort Study 
Nutrition and cancer  2008;60(3):354-363.
Prospective data on environmental exposures, especially with respect to alcohol, tobacco and diet, in relation to the risk of esophageal cancer in high risk populations are sparse. We analyzed data from a population-based cohort of 18 244 middle-aged and older men in Shanghai to identify risk factors for esophageal cancer in this high-risk population. The cohort was followed through 2006 and 101 incident esophageal cancer cases were identified. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between exposures and esophageal cancer risk. With adjustment for tobacco use and other potential confounders, regular drinkers versus nondrinkers of alcoholic beverages had a 2-fold risk of developing esophageal cancer (HR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.31–3.12). With adjustment for alcohol and other potential confounders, long-term smokers (40+ years) versus nonsmokers of cigarettes showed a 2-fold risk of developing esophageal cancer (HR=2.06, 95% CI=1.11–3.82). Increased consumption of fruits (including oranges/tangerines), seafood and milk were found to be protective against the development of esophageal cancer; HRs were decreased by 40%–60% for high versus low consumers after adjustment for cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and other confounders.
doi:10.1080/01635580701883011
PMCID: PMC2409004  PMID: 18444169
alcohol; tobacco; diet; esophageal cancer; Chinese
12.  Epidemiology of esophageal cancer 
Esophageal cancer (EsC) is one of the least studied and deadliest cancers worldwide because of its extremely aggressive nature and poor survival rate. It ranks sixth among all cancers in mortality. In retrospective studies of EsC, smoking, hot tea drinking, red meat consumption, poor oral health, low intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, and low socioeconomic status have been associated with a higher risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Barrett’s esophagus is clearly recognized as a risk factor for EsC, and dysplasia remains the only factor useful for identifying patients at increased risk, for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma in clinical practice. Here, we investigated the epidemiologic patterns and causes of EsC. Using population based cancer data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program of the United States; we generated the most up-to-date stage distribution and 5-year relative survival by stage at diagnosis for 1998-2009. Special note should be given to the fact that esophageal cancer, mainly adenocarcinoma, is one of the very few cancers that is contributing to increasing death rates (20%) among males in the United States. To further explore the mechanism of development of EsC will hopefully decrease the incidence of EsC and improve outcomes.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i34.5598
PMCID: PMC3769895  PMID: 24039351
Risk factor; Barrett’s esophagus; Cyclin D1 G870A; Esophageal neoplasm; Susceptibility; Polymorphism
13.  Smoking and alcohol drinking increased the risk of esophageal cancer among Chinese men but not women in a high-risk population 
Cancer Causes & Control  2011;22(4):649-657.
Although the association for esophageal cancer with tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking has been well established, the risk appears to be less strong in China. To provide more evidence on the effect of smoking and alcohol consumption with esophageal cancer in China, particularly among Chinese women, a population-based case–control study has been conducted in Jiangsu, China, from 2003 to 2007. A total of 1,520 cases and 3,879 controls were recruited. Unconditional multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied. Results showed that the odds ratio (OR) and confidence interval (CI) for ever smoking and alcohol drinking were 1.57 (95% CI: 1.34–1.83) and 1.50 (95% CI: 1.29–1.74). Dose–response relationships were observed with increased intensity and longer duration of smoking/drinking. Risk of smoking and alcohol drinking at the highest joint level was 7.32 (95% CI: 4.58–11.7), when compared to those never smoked and never drank alcohol. Stratifying by genders, smoking and alcohol drinking increased the risk among men with an OR of 1.74 (95% CI: 1.44–2.09) and 1.76 (95% CI: 1.48–2.09); however, neither smoking nor alcohol consumption showed a significant association among women. In conclusion, smoking and alcohol drinking were associated with esophageal cancer risk among Chinese men, but not among Chinese women.
doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9737-4
PMCID: PMC3059761  PMID: 21321789
Esophageal cancer; Smoking; Alcohol; Case–control studies; China
14.  The Independent Effects of Cigarette Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Serum Aspartate Aminotransferase on the Alanine Aminotransferase Ratio in Korean Men for the Risk for Esophageal Cancer 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2010;51(3):310-317.
Purpose
The goal of this study is to assess the interactions among alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) / alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratios on esophageal cancer.
Materials and Methods
Alcohol and the risk of incidence and death from esophageal cancer were examined in a 14-year prospective cohort study of 782,632 Korean men, 30 to 93 years of age, who received health insurance from the National Health Insurance Corporation and had a medical evaluation from 1992 to 1995.
Results
Smoking, alcohol intake, and AST/ALT ratios were associated with the increased risk of esophageal cancer in a dose-dependent manner independent of each other. Smoking was associated with an increased risk of incidence [Hazard ratio (HR) = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.8 to 2.5] and mortality (HR = 2.5, 2.0 to 3.1). Combined HR of incidence for alcohol consumption (> 25 g/day) and smoking was 4.5 (3.8-5.5); for alcohol (> 25 g/day) and the AST/ALT ratio (≥ 2.0), it was 5.8 (4.6-7.2); for smoking and the AST/ALT ratio (≥ 2.0), it was 6.3 (5.1-7.5). Similar results were seen for mortality from esophageal cancer. Subjects who drank ≥ 25 g/day with an AST/ALT ratio ≥ 2 had a higher risk of esophageal cancer incidence (HR = 6.5, 4.8 to 8.7) compared with those who drank ≥ 25 g/day with an AST/ALT ratio < 2 (HR = 2.2, 1.9 to 2.6).
Conclusion
Alcohol, smoking, and the AST/ALT ratio are independently associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer but did not interact synergistically. The combination of the AST/ALT ratio with a questionnaire for alcohol consumption may increase the effectiveness for determining the risk of esophageal cancer.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2010.51.3.310
PMCID: PMC2852784  PMID: 20376881
Alcohol; smoking; alanine transaminase; aspartate aminotransferases; esophageal neoplasms
15.  Epidemiology of Esophageal Cancer in Japan and China 
Journal of Epidemiology  2013;23(4):233-242.
In preparation for a collaborative multidisciplinary study of the pathogenesis of esophageal cancer, the authors reviewed the published literature to identify similarities and differences between Japan and China in esophageal cancer epidemiology. Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is the predominant histologic type, while the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma remains extremely low in both countries. Numerous epidemiologic studies in both countries show that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are contributing risk factors for ESCC. There are differences, however, in many aspects of esophageal cancer between Japan and China, including cancer burden, patterns of incidence and mortality, sex ratio of mortality, risk factor profiles, and genetic variants. Overall incidence and mortality rates are higher in China than in Japan, and variation in mortality and incidence patterns is greater in China than in Japan. During the study period (1987–2000), the decline in age-adjusted mortality rates was more apparent in China than in Japan. Risk factor profiles differed between high- and low-incidence areas within China, but not in Japan. The association of smoking and drinking with ESCC risk appears to be weaker in China than in Japan. Genome-wide association studies in China showed that variants in several chromosome regions conferred increased risk, but only genetic variants in alcohol-metabolizing genes were significantly associated with ESCC risk in Japan. A well-designed multidisciplinary epidemiologic study is needed to examine the role of diet and eating habits in ESCC risk.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20120162
PMCID: PMC3709543  PMID: 23629646
esophageal cancer; epidemiology; risk factor
16.  Attributable fraction of tobacco smoking on cancer using population-based nationwide cancer incidence and mortality data in Korea 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:406.
Background
Smoking is by far the most important cause of cancer that can be modified at the individual level. Cancer incidence and mortality rates in Korea are the highest among all Asian countries, and smoking prevalence in Korean men is one of the highest in developed countries. The purpose of the current study was to perform a systematic review and provide an evidence-based assessment of the burden of tobacco smoking-related cancers in the Korean population.
Methods
Sex- and cancer-specific population-attributable fractions (PAF) were estimated using the prevalence of ever-smoking and second-hand smoking in 1989 among Korean adults, respectively, and the relative risks were estimated from the meta-analysis of studies performed in the Korean population for ever-smoking and in the Asian population for passive smoking. National cancer incidence data from the Korea Central Cancer Registry and national cancer mortality data from Statistics Korea for the year 2009 were used to estimate the cancer cases and deaths attributable to tobacco smoking.
Results
Tobacco smoking was responsible for 20,239 (20.9%) cancer incident cases and 14,377 (32.9%) cancer deaths among adult men and 1,930 (2.1%) cancer incident cases and 1,351 (5.2%) cancer deaths among adult women in 2009 in Korea. In men, 71% of lung cancer deaths, 55%–72% of upper aerodigestive tract (oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus and larynx) cancer deaths, 23% of liver, 32% of stomach, 27% of pancreas, 7% of kidney and 45% of bladder cancer deaths were attributable to tobacco smoking. In women the proportion of ever-smoking-attributable lung cancer was 8.1%, while that attributable to second-hand smoking among non-smoking women was 20.5%.
Conclusions
Approximately one in three cancer deaths would be potentially preventable through appropriate control of tobacco smoking in Korean men at the population level and individual level. For Korean women, more lung cancer cases and deaths were attributable to second-hand than ever-smoking. Effective control programs against tobacco smoking should be further developed and implemented in Korea to reduce the smoking-related cancer burden.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-406
PMCID: PMC4090397  PMID: 24902960
Risk factor; Population attributable fraction; Lifestyle; Asia
17.  Risk factors for cancer of the oral cavity and oro-pharynx in Cuba 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;85(1):46-54.
In terms of worldwide levels, Cuba has an intermediate incidence of cancer of the oral cavity and oro-pharynx. We studied 200 cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, of whom 57 women (median age = 64) and 200 hospital controls, frequency matched with cases by age and sex, in relation to smoking and drinking history, intake of 25 foods or food groups, indicators of oral hygiene and sexual activity, and history of sexually transmitted diseases. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from unconditional multiple logistic regressions and adjusted for age, sex, area of residence, education, and smoking and drinking habits. In the multivariate model, high educational level and white-collar occupation, but not white race, were associated with halving of oral cancer risk. Smoking ≥30 cigarettes per day showed an OR of 20.8 (95% CI: 8.9–48.3), similar to smoking ≥4 cigars daily (OR = 20.5). Drinking ≥ 70 alcoholic drinks per week showed an OR of 5.7 (95% CI: 1.8–18.5). Hard liquors were by far the largest source of alcohol. Increased risk was associated with the highest tertile of intake for maize (OR = 1.9), meat (OR = 2.2) and ham and salami (OR = 2.0), whereas high fruit intake was associated with significantly decreased risk (OR = 0.4). Among indicators of dental care, number of missing teeth and poor general oral condition at oral inspection showed ORs of 2.7 and 2.6, respectively. Number of sexual partners, marriages or contacts with prostitutes, practice of oral sex and history of various sexually transmitted diseases, including genital warts, were not associated with oral cancer risk. 82% of oral cancer cases in Cuba were attributable to tobacco smoking, 19% to smoking cigars or pipe only. The fractions attributable to alcohol drinking (7%) and low fruit intake (11%) were more modest. Thus, decreases in cigarette and cigar smoking are at present the key to oral cancer prevention in Cuba. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1825
PMCID: PMC2363910  PMID: 11437401
oral cancer; alcohol; tobacco; sexual habits
18.  Emerging tobacco hazards in China: 1. Retrospective proportional mortality study of one million deaths 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;317(7170):1411-1422.
Objective
To assess the hazards at an early phase of the growing epidemic of deaths from tobacco in China.
Design
Smoking habits before 1980 (obtained from family or other informants) of 0.7 million adults who had died of neoplastic, respiratory, or vascular causes were compared with those of a reference group of 0.2 million who had died of other causes.
Setting
24 urban and 74 rural areas of China.
Subjects
One million people who had died during 1986-8 and whose families could be interviewed.
Main outcome measures
Tobacco attributable mortality in middle or old age from neoplastic, respiratory, or vascular disease.
Results
Among male smokers aged 35-69 there was a 51% (SE 2) excess of neoplastic deaths, a 31% (2) excess of respiratory deaths, and a 15% (2) excess of vascular deaths. All three excesses were significant (P<0.0001). Among male smokers aged ⩾70 there was a 39% (3) excess of neoplastic deaths, a 54% (2) excess of respiratory deaths, and a 6% (2) excess of vascular deaths. Fewer women smoked, but those who did had tobacco attributable risks of lung cancer and respiratory disease about the same as men. For both sexes, the lung cancer rates at ages 35-69 were about three times as great in smokers as in non-smokers, but because the rates among non-smokers in different parts of China varied widely the absolute excesses of lung cancer in smokers also varied. Of all deaths attributed to tobacco, 45% were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 15% to lung cancer; oesophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, tuberculosis, stroke, and ischaemic heart disease each caused 5-8%. Tobacco caused about 0.6 million Chinese deaths in 1990 (0.5 million men). This will rise to 0.8 million in 2000 (0.4 million at ages 35-69) or to more if the tobacco attributed fractions increase.
Conclusions
At current age specific death rates in smokers and non-smokers one in four smokers would be killed by tobacco, but as the epidemic grows this proportion will roughly double. If current smoking uptake rates persist in China (where about two thirds of men but few women become smokers) tobacco will kill about 100 million of the 0.3 billion males now aged 0-29, with half these deaths in middle age and half in old age.
Key messagesOf the Chinese deaths now being caused by tobacco, 45% are from chronic lung disease, 15% from lung cancer, and 5-8% from each of oesophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, and tuberculosisTobacco now causes 13% (and will probably eventually cause about 33%) of deaths in men but only 3% (and perhaps eventually about 1%) of deaths in women as the proportion of young women who smoke has become smallTwo thirds of men now become smokers before age 25; few give up, and about half of those who persist will be killed by tobacco in middle or old ageIf present smoking patterns continue about 100 million of the 0.3 billion Chinese males now aged 0-29 will eventually be killed by tobaccoTobacco caused 0.6 million deaths in 1990 and will cause at least 0.8 million in 2000 (0.7 million in men) and about 3 million a year by the middle of the century on the basis of current smoking patterns
PMCID: PMC28719  PMID: 9822393
19.  Estimation of cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol drinking in china 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:730.
Background
Cancer constitutes a serious burden of disease worldwide and has become the second leading cause of death in China. Alcohol consumption is causally associated with the increased risk of certain cancers. Due to the current lack of data and the imperative need to guide policymakers on issues of cancer prevention and control, we aim to estimate the role of alcohol on the cancer burden in China in 2005.
Methods
We calculated the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol use to estimate the burden of alcohol-related cancer. The population attributable fraction was calculated based on the assumption of no alcohol drinking. Data on alcohol drinking prevalence were from two large-scale national surveys of representative samples of the Chinese population. Data on relative risk were obtained from meta-analyses and large-scale studies.
Results
We found that a total of 78,881 cancer deaths were attributable to alcohol drinking in China in 2005, representing 4.40% of all cancers (6.69% in men, 0.42% in women). The corresponding figure for cancer incidence was 93,596 cases (3.63% of all cancer cases). Liver cancer was the main alcohol-related cancer, contributing more than 60% of alcohol-related cancers.
Conclusions
Particular attention needs to be paid to the harm of alcohol as well as its potential benefits when making public health recommendations on alcohol drinking.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-730
PMCID: PMC3009646  PMID: 21108783
20.  Risk factors for esophageal and gastric cancers in Shanxi Province, China: A case-control study 
Cancer epidemiology  2011;35(6):e91-e99.
Objective
Smoking and alcohol consumption explain little of the risk for upper-gastrointestinal (UGI) cancer in China, where over half of all cases in the world occur.
Methods
We evaluated questionnaire-based risk factors for UGI cancers in a case-control study from Shanxi Province, China, including 600 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC), 599 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (GCA), 316 gastric noncardia adenocarcinomas (GNCA), and 1514 age- and gender-matched controls.
Results
Ever smoking and ever use of any alcohol were not associated with risk of UGI cancer; only modest associations were observed between ESCC risk and highest cumulative smoking exposure, as well as GNCA risk and beer drinking. While several associations were noted for socioeconomic and some dietary variables with one or two UGI cancers, the strongest and most consistent relations for all three individual UGI cancers were observed for consumption of scalding hot foods (risk increased 150% to 219% for daily vs never users) and fresh vegetables and fruits (risk decreased 48% to 70% for vegetables and 46% to 68% for fruits, respectively, for high vs low quartiles).
Conclusion
This study confirms the minor role of tobacco and alcohol in UGI cancers in this region, and highlights thermal damage as a leading etiologic factor.
doi:10.1016/j.canep.2011.06.006
PMCID: PMC3215853  PMID: 21846596
smoking; alcohol; socioeconomic status; diet
21.  Alcohol Consumption and Digestive Cancer Mortality in Koreans: The Kangwha Cohort Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(3):204-211.
Background
Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for cancers of the mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast. In this study, we examined the association between alcohol consumption and digestive cancer mortality in Korean men and women.
Methods
A cohort of 6291 residents of Kangwha County who were aged 55 years or older in March 1985 were followed to 31 December 2005—a period of 20.8 years. We calculated the relative risks of cancer mortality with respect to the amount of alcohol consumed. Cox proportional hazard model was used to adjust for age at entry, smoking, ginseng intake, education status, and pesticide use.
Results
In men, the risks of mortality from esophageal cancer (relative risk [RR], 5.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45–21.77) and colon cancer (RR, 4.59; 95% CI, 1.10–19.2) were higher among heavy drinkers, as compared with abstainers. The risks of mortality from colon cancer and bile duct cancer rose with increasing alcohol consumption; these trends were positive and statistically significant (P = 0.04 and P = 0.02, respectively). When participants were stratified by type of alcoholic beverage, soju drinkers had higher risks of mortality from esophageal cancer and colon cancer than makkoli drinkers. In women, the risk of digestive cancer mortality was higher among alcohol drinkers than abstainers, but this difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusions
Alcohol consumption increases mortality from esophageal cancer and colon cancer in men.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20090077
PMCID: PMC3900842  PMID: 20234107
alcohol consumption; digestive cancer; cohort study; mortality
22.  A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(12):e325.
Background
Red meat and processed meat have been associated with carcinogenesis at several anatomic sites, but no prospective study has examined meat intake in relation to a range of malignancies. We investigated whether red or processed meat intake increases cancer risk at a variety of sites.
Methods and Findings
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly the American Association for Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study is a cohort of approximately 500,000 people aged 50–71 y at baseline (1995–1996). Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals within quintiles of red and processed meat intake. During up to 8.2 y of follow-up, 53,396 incident cancers were ascertained. Statistically significant elevated risks (ranging from 20% to 60%) were evident for esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer, comparing individuals in the highest with those in the lowest quintile of red meat intake. Furthermore, individuals in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had a 20% elevated risk for colorectal and a 16% elevated risk for lung cancer.
Conclusions
Both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung; furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver.
Using data from a large cohort study, Amanda Cross and colleagues found that both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, there are more than 10 million new cases of cancer around the world. These cases are not spread evenly across the globe. The annual incidence of cancer (the number of new cases divided by the population size) and the type of cancer most commonly diagnosed varies widely among countries. Much of the global variation in cancer incidence and type is thought to be due to environmental influences. These include exposure to agents in the air or water that cause cancer, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet. Researchers identify environmental factors that affect cancer risk by measuring the exposure of a large number of individuals to a specific environmental factor and then monitoring these people for several years to see who develops cancer. The hope is that by identifying the environmental factors that cause or prevent cancer, the global burden of cancer can be reduced.
Why Was This Study Done?
Diet is thought to influence the incidence of several cancers but it is very difficult to unravel which aspects of diet are important. Being overweight, for example, is strongly associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, but the evidence that the intake of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and of processed meat (for example, bacon, ham, and sausages) is linked to cancer risk is much weaker. Although several studies have linked a high intake of red meat and processed meat to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (the colon is the large bowel; the rectum is the final few inches of the large bowel before the anus), whether this aspect of diet affects the risk of other types of cancer is unclear. In this prospective study, the researchers have examined the association between meat intake and the incidence of a wide range of cancers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In 1995–1996, nearly half a million US men and women aged 50–71 y joined the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The participants in this study—none of whom had had cancer previously—completed a questionnaire about their dietary habits over the previous year and provided other personal information such as their age, weight, and smoking history. The researchers used these data and information from state cancer registries to look for associations between the intake of red and processed meat and the incidence of various cancers. They found that people whose red meat intake was in the top fifth of the range of intakes recorded in the study (the highest quintile of consumption) had an increased risk of developing colorectal, liver, lung, and esophageal cancer when compared with people in the lowest quintile of consumption. People in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had an increased risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer. The incidences of other cancers were largely unaffected by meat intake.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that people who eat a lot of red and processed meats have greater risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer than do people who eat small quantities. They also indicate that a high red meat intake is associated with an increased risk of esophageal and liver cancer, and that one in ten colorectal and one in ten lung cancers could be avoided if people reduced their red and processed meat intake to the lowest quintile. However, although the researchers allowed for factors such as smoking history that might have affected cancer incidences, some of the effects they ascribe to meat intake might be caused by other lifestyle factors. Furthermore, because the study's definitions of red meat and processed meat overlapped—bacon and ham, for example, were included in both categories—exactly which type of meat is related to cancer remains unclear. Finally, most of the study participants were non-Hispanic white, so these findings may not apply to people with different genetic backgrounds. Nevertheless, they add to the evidence that suggests that decreased consumption of red and processed meats could reduce the incidence of several types of cancer.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325.
The American Cancer Society provides answers to common questions about diet and cancer
Information is available from the charity Cancer Research UK about diet, healthy eating, and cancer
The American Institute for Cancer Research also provides information on diet and cancer.
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study presents information on the impact of diet and lifestyle factors on risk of cancer
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about the kind of food questionnaire used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325
PMCID: PMC2121107  PMID: 18076279
23.  Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people 
Archives of internal medicine  2009;169(6):562-571.
Context
High intakes of red or processed meat may increase risk of mortality.
Objective
Determine the relations of red, white and processed meat intakes to risk for total, and cause-specific mortality.
Design, Setting, and Participants
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort of half a million people aged 50-71 years at baseline. Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) within quintiles of meat intake. The covariates included in the models were: age; education; marital status; family history of cancer (yes/no) (cancer mortality only); race; body mass index; 31-level smoking history; physical activity; energy intake; alcohol intake; vitamin supplement use; fruit consumption; vegetable consumption; and menopausal hormone therapy among women.
Main Outcome Measure
Total mortality, deaths due to cancer, CVD, accidents, and other causes.
Results
There were 47,976 male deaths and 23,276 female deaths during 10 years of follow-up. Men and women in the highest versus lowest quintile of red (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.27-1.35; HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.30-1.43, respectively) and processed meat intake (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.12-1.20; HR 1.25, 95% 1.20-1.31, respectively) had elevated risks for overall mortality. Regarding cause-specific mortality, men and women had elevated risks for cancer mortality for red (HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.16-1.29; HR 1.20, 95% CI 1.12-1.30, respectively) and processed meats (HR 1.12, 95% CI 1.06-1.19; HR 1.11, 95% CI 1.04-1.19, respectively). Furthermore, CVD risk was elevated for men and women in the highest quintile of red (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.20-1.35; HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.37-1.65, respectively) and processed meat (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03-1.15; HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.26-1.51, respectively). When comparing the highest to the lowest quintile of white meat intake, there was an inverse association for total mortality, and cancer mortality, as well as all other deaths for both men and women.
Conclusion
Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and CVD mortality.
doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.6
PMCID: PMC2803089  PMID: 19307518
Red meat; white meat; processed meat; mortality; CVD; cancer; diet
24.  Esophageal cancer risk by type of alcohol drinking and smoking: a case-control study in Spain 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:221.
Background
The effect of tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking on esophageal cancer (EC) has never been explored in Spain where black tobacco and wine consumptions are quite prevalent. We estimated the independent effect of different alcoholic beverages and type of tobacco smoking on the risk of EC and its main histological cell type (squamous cell carcinoma) in a hospital-based case-control study in a Mediterranean area of Spain.
Methods
We only included incident cases with histologically confirmed EC (n = 202). Controls were frequency-matched to cases by age, sex and province (n = 455). Information on risk factors was elicited by trained interviewers using structured questionnaires. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results
Alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking were strong and independent risk factors for esophageal cancer. Alcohol was a potent risk factor with a clear dose-response relationship, particularly for esophageal squamous-cell cancer. Compared to never-drinkers, the risk for heaviest drinkers (≥ 75 g/day of pure ethanol) was 7.65 (95%CI, 3.16–18.49); and compared with never-smokers, the risk for heaviest smokers (≥ 30 cigarettes/day) was 5.07 (95%CI, 2.06–12.47). A low consumption of only wine and/or beer (1–24 g/d) did not increase the risk whereas a strong positive trend was observed for all types of alcoholic beverages that included any combination of hard liquors with beer and/or wine (p-trend<0.00001). A significant increase in EC risk was only observed for black-tobacco smoking (2.5-fold increase), not for blond tobacco. The effects for alcohol drinking were much stronger when the analysis was limited to the esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (n = 160), whereas a lack of effect for adenocarcinoma was evidenced. Smoking cessation showed a beneficial effect within ten years whereas drinking cessation did not.
Conclusion
Our study shows that the risk of EC, and particularly the squamous cell type, is strongly associated with alcohol drinking. The consumption of any combination of hard liquors seems to be harmful whereas a low consumption of only wine may not. This may relates to the presence of certain antioxidant compounds found in wine but practically lacking in liquors. Tobacco smoking is also a clear risk factor, black more than blond.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-221
PMCID: PMC2529333  PMID: 18673563
25.  Sociodemographic patterning of non-communicable disease risk factors in rural India: a cross sectional study 
Objectives To investigate the sociodemographic patterning of non-communicable disease risk factors in rural India.
Design Cross sectional study.
Setting About 1600 villages from 18 states in India. Most were from four large states due to a convenience sampling strategy.
Participants 1983 (31% women) people aged 20–69 years (49% response rate).
Main outcome measures Prevalence of tobacco use, alcohol use, low fruit and vegetable intake, low physical activity, obesity, central adiposity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, and underweight.
Results Prevalence of most risk factors increased with age. Tobacco and alcohol use, low intake of fruit and vegetables, and underweight were more common in lower socioeconomic positions; whereas obesity, dyslipidaemia, and diabetes (men only) and hypertension (women only) were more prevalent in higher socioeconomic positions. For example, 37% (95% CI 30% to 44%) of men smoked tobacco in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with 15% (12% to 17%) in the highest, while 35% (30% to 40%) of women in the highest socioeconomic group were obese compared with 13% (7% to 19%) in the lowest. The age standardised prevalence of some risk factors was: tobacco use (40% (37% to 42%) men, 4% (3% to 6%) women); low fruit and vegetable intake (69% (66% to 71%) men, 75% (71% to 78%) women); obesity (19% (17% to 21%) men, 28% (24% to 31%) women); dyslipidaemia (33% (31% to 36%) men, 35% (31% to 38%) women); hypertension (20% (18% to 22%) men, 22% (19% to 25%) women); diabetes (6% (5% to 7%) men, 5% (4% to 7%) women); and underweight (21% (19% to 23%) men, 18% (15% to 21%) women). Risk factors were generally more prevalent in south Indians compared with north Indians. For example, the prevalence of dyslipidaemia was 21% (17% to 33%) in north Indian men compared with 33% (29% to 38%) in south Indian men, while the prevalence of obesity was 13% (9% to 17%) in north Indian women compared with 24% (19% to 30%) in south Indian women.
Conclusions The prevalence of most risk factors was generally high across a range of sociodemographic groups in this sample of rural villagers in India; in particular, the prevalence of tobacco use in men and obesity in women was striking. However, given the limitations of the study (convenience sampling design and low response rate), cautious interpretation of the results is warranted. These data highlight the need for careful monitoring and control of non-communicable disease risk factors in rural areas of India.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c4974
PMCID: PMC2946988  PMID: 20876148

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