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1.  Diet and the Risk of Head and Neck Cancer: A Pooled Analysis in the INHANCE Consortium 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;23(1):69-88.
We investigated the association between diet and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk using data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium. The INHANCE pooled data included 22 case-control studies with 14,520 cases and 22,737 controls. Center-specific quartiles among the controls were used for food groups and frequencies per week were used for single food items. A dietary pattern score combining high fruit and vegetable intake and low red meat intake, was created. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the dietary items on the risk of HNC were estimated with a two-stage random effects logistic regression model. An inverse association was observed for higher frequency intake of fruit (4th vs. 1st quartile OR=0.52, 95% CI=0.43–0.62, ptrend<0.01) and vegetables (OR=0.66, 95% CI=0.49–0.90, ptrend=0.01). Intake of red meat (OR=1.40, 95% CI=1.13–1.74, ptrend=0.13) and processed meat (OR=1.37, 95% CI=1.14–1.65, ptrend<0.01) were positively associated with HNC risk. Higher dietary pattern scores, reflecting high fruit/vegetable and low red meat intake, were associated with reduced HNC risk (per score increment OR=0.90, 95% CI=0.84–0.97).
PMCID: PMC3654401  PMID: 22037906
Diet; head and neck cancer; fruit and vegetable; red meat; processed meat
4.  Self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Northern Italy: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:310.
The incidence of invasive cervical cancer in HIV-positive women is higher than in the general population. There is evidence that HIV-positive women do not participate sufficiently in cervical cancer screening in Italy, where cervical cancer is more than 10-fold higher in women with AIDS than in the general population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Italy in recent years. We also examined the sociodemographic, clinical, and organizational factors associated with adherence to cervical cancer screening.
A cross-sectional study was conducted between July 2006 and June 2007 in Emilia-Romagna region (Northern Italy). All HIV-positive women who received a follow-up visit in one of the 10 regional infectivology units were invited to participate. History of Pap-smear, including abnormal smears and subsequent treatment, was investigated through a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The association between lack of Pap-smear in the year preceding the interview and selected characteristics was assessed by means of odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for study centre and age.
A total of 1,002 HIV-positive women were interviewed. Nine percent reported no history of Pap-smear, and 39% had no Pap-smear in the year prior to the date of questionnaire (last year). The lack of Pap-smear in the last year was significantly associated with age <35 years (OR = 1.4, compared to age ≥45 years), lower education level (OR = 1.3), first HIV-positive test in the last 2 years (OR = 1.4), and CD4 count <200 cells/μl (OR = 1.6). Conversely, when women were advised by a gynecologist rather than other health workers to undergo screening, it significantly increased adherence. Non-significantly higher proportions of lack of Pap-smear in the last year were found in women born in Central-Eastern Europe (OR = 1.8) and Africa (OR = 1.3). No difference in history of Pap-smear emerged by mode of HIV-acquisition or AIDS status.
Three hundred five (34%) women reported a previous abnormal Pap-smear, and of the 178 (58%) referred for treatment, 97% complied.
In recent years the self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women, in some public clinics in Italy, is higher than previously reported, but further efforts are required to make sure cervical cancer screening is accessible to all HIV-positive women.
PMCID: PMC2904281  PMID: 20565935
5.  Elevated risks of death for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases in Italian AIDS cases 
After the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART), an increased incidence of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus (DM), and cardiovascular diseases has been described. The impact of such conditions on mortality in the post-HAART era has been also assessed in various modes in the literature. In this paper, we report on the death risks for DM, myocardial infarction, and chronic ischemic heart diseases that were investigated among 9662 Italian AIDS cases diagnosed between 1999 and 2005. Death certificates reporting DM, myocardial infarction, and chronic ischemic heart diseases were reviewed to identify the underlying cause of death, and to compare the observed numbers of deaths with the expected ones from the sex- and age-matched, general population of Italy. Person-years at risk of death were computed from date of AIDS diagnosis up to date of death or to December 31, 2006. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. DM and cardiovascular diseases were the cause of death for 43 out of 3101 deceased AIDS cases (i.e., 1.4% of all deaths). In comparison with the general population, the risks of death were 6.4-fold higher for DM (95% CI:3.5-10.8), 2.3-fold higher for myocardial infarction (95% CI:1.4-3.7) and 3.0 for chronic ischemic heart diseases (95% CI: 1.5-5.2).
PMCID: PMC2881872  PMID: 20497520
6.  Body mass index and risk of head and neck cancer in a pooled analysis of case–control studies in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium 
Background Head and neck cancer (HNC) risk is elevated among lean people and reduced among overweight or obese people in some studies; however, it is unknown whether these associations differ for certain subgroups or are influenced by residual confounding from the effects of alcohol and tobacco use or by other sources of biases.
Methods We pooled data from 17 case–control studies including 12 716 cases and the 17 438 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for associations between body mass index (BMI) at different ages and HNC risk, adjusted for age, sex, centre, race, education, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption.
Results Adjusted ORs (95% CIs) were elevated for people with BMI at reference (date of diagnosis for cases and date of selection for controls) ≤18.5 kg/m2 (2.13, 1.75–2.58) and reduced for BMI >25.0–30.0 kg/m2 (0.52, 0.44–0.60) and BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (0.43, 0.33–0.57), compared with BMI >18.5–25.0 kg/m2. These associations did not differ by age, sex, tumour site or control source. Although the increased risk among people with BMI ≤18.5 kg/m2 was not modified by tobacco smoking or alcohol drinking, the inverse association for people with BMI > 25 kg/m2 was present only in smokers and drinkers.
Conclusions In our large pooled analysis, leanness was associated with increased HNC risk regardless of smoking and drinking status, although reverse causality cannot be excluded. The reduced risk among overweight or obese people may indicate body size is a modifier of the risk associated with smoking and drinking. Further clarification may be provided by analyses of prospective cohort and mechanistic studies.
PMCID: PMC2929351  PMID: 20123951
BMI; head and neck cancer; smoking

Results 1-6 (6)