Lung cancer in never smokers, which has been partially attributed to household solid fuel use (i.e coal), is etiologically and clinically different from lung cancer attributed to tobacco smoking. To explore the spectrum of driver mutations among lung cancer tissues from never smokers, specifically in a population where high lung cancer rates have been attributed to indoor air pollution from domestic coal use, multiplexed assays were used to detect >40 point mutations, insertions, and deletions (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, HER2, NRAS, PIK3CA, MEK1, AKT1, and PTEN) among the lung tumors of confirmed never smoking females from Xuanwei, China [32 adenocarcinomas (ADCs), 7 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), 1 adenosquamous carcinoma (ADSC)]. EGFR mutations were detected in 35% of tumors. 46% of these involved EGFR exon 18 G719X, while 14% were exon 21 L858R mutations. KRAS mutations, all of which were G12C_34G>T, were observed in 15% of tumors. EGFR and KRAS mutations were mutually exclusive, and no mutations were observed in the other tested genes. Most point mutations were transversions and were also found in tumors from patients who used coal in their homes. Our high mutation frequencies in EGFR exon 18 and KRAS and low mutation frequency in EGFR exon 21 are strikingly divergent from those in other smoking and never smoking populations from Asia. Given that our subjects live in a region where coal is typically burned indoors, our findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of lung cancer among never smoking females exposed to indoor air pollution from coal.
EGFR; KRAS; lung cancer; never smoking; China; driver mutations; tumor tissue
Formaldehyde is used in many occupational settings, most notably in manufacturing, health care, and embalming. Formaldehyde has been classified as a human carcinogen, but its mechanism of action remains uncertain.
We carried out a cross-sectional study of 43 formaldehyde exposed-workers and 51 unexposed age and sex-matched controls in Guangdong, China to study formaldehyde’s early biologic effects. To follow-up our previous report that the total lymphocyte count was decreased in formaldehyde-exposed workers compared to controls, we evaluated each major lymphocyte subset (i.e., CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and B cells) and T cell lymphocyte subset (CD4+ naïve and memory T cells, CD8+ naïve and memory T cells, and regulatory T cells). Linear regression of each subset was used to test for differences between exposed workers and controls, adjusting for potential confounders.
Total NK cell and T cell counts were about 24% (p=0.037) and 16% (p=0.0042) lower, respectively, among exposed workers. Among certain T cell subsets, decreased counts among exposed workers were observed for CD8+ T cells (p=0.026), CD8+ effector memory T cells (p=0.018), and regulatory T cells (CD4+FoxP3+: p=0.04; CD25+FoxP3+: p=0.008).
Formaldehyde exposed-workers experienced decreased counts of NK cells, regulatory T cells, and CD8+ effector memory T cells; however, due to the small sample size these findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.
formaldehyde; NK cell; B cell; T cell; T cell subset
We investigated the relationship between telomere length and lung cancer in a pooled analysis from three prospective cohort studies: the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, conducted among men and women in the United States, and previously published data from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) trial conducted among male smokers in Finland, and the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS), which is comprised primarily of never-smokers. The pooled population included 847 cases and 847 controls matched by study, age, and sex. Leukocyte telomere length was measured by a monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR assay. We used conditional logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between telomere length and lung cancer risk, adjusted for age and pack-years of smoking. Longer telomere length was associated with increased lung cancer risk in the pooled analysis (OR(95% CI) by quartile: 1.00; 1.24(0.90–1.71); 1.27(0.91–1.78); and 1.86(1.33–2.62); P-trend=0.000022). Findings were consistent across the three cohorts and strongest for subjects with very long telomere length, i.e., lung cancer risks for telomere length (OR(95% CI)) in the upper half of the fourth quartile were 2.41(1.28–4.52), 2.16(1.11–4.23) and 3.02(1.39–6.58) for the PLCO trial, the ATBC trial, and the SWHS, respectively. In addition, the association persisted among cases diagnosed more than six years after blood collection and was particularly evident for female adenocarcinoma cases. Telomere length in white blood cell DNA may be a biomarker of future increased risk of lung cancer in diverse populations.
Leukocytes; Lung cancer; Prospective; Telomeres
The combustion of
biomass and coal is the dominant source of household
air pollution (HAP) in China, and contributes significantly to the
total burden of disease in the Chinese population. To characterize
HAP exposure related to solid fuel use and ventilation patterns, an
exposure assessment study of 163 nonsmoking female heads of households
enrolled from 30 villages was conducted in Xuanwei and Fuyuan, two
neighboring rural counties with high incidence of lung cancer due
to the burning of smoky coal (a bituminous coal, which in health evaluations
is usually compared to smokeless coal—an anthracite coal available
in some parts of the area). Personal and indoor 24-h PM2.5 samples were collected over two consecutive days in each household,
with approximately one-third of measurements retaken in a second season.
The overall geometric means (GM) of personal PM2.5 concentrations
in Xuanwei and Fuyuan were 166 [Geometric Standard Deviation (GSD):2.0]
and 146 (GSD:1.9) μg/m3, respectively, which were
similar to the indoor PM2.5 air concentrations [GM(GSD):162
(2.1) and 136 (2.0) μg/m3, respectively]. Personal
PM2.5 was moderately highly correlated with indoor PM2.5 (Spearman r = 0.70, p < 0.0001). Burning wood or plant materials (tobacco stems, corncobs
etc.) resulted in the highest personal PM2.5 concentrations
(GM:289 and 225 μg/m3, respectively), followed by
smoky coal, and smokeless coal (GM:148 and 115 μg/m3, respectively). PM2.5 levels of vented stoves were 34–80%
lower than unvented stoves and firepits across fuel types. Mixed effect
models indicated that fuel type, ventilation, number of windows, season,
and burning time per stove were the main factors related to personal
PM2.5 exposure. Lower PM2.5 among vented stoves
compared with unvented stoves and firepits is of interest as it parallels
the observation of reduced risks of malignant and nonmalignant lung
diseases in the region.
Immune deficiency is one of the best characterized and strongest known risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We studied the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in integrin genes that are important components in human innate immunity and the risk of NHL in a population-based case–control study of women in Connecticut, USA. A total of 373 tag SNPs in 33 gene regions were included in the analysis of 448 cases and 525 controls. The ADAM19 rs11466782 SNP was associated with an increased risk of lymphoma (OR, 1.73; 95 % CI, 1.28–2.35; P additive = 0.0004), and the ICAM3 rs2304240 (OR, 0.67; 95 % CI, 0.52–0.86; P additive = 0.002) and the PTGDR rs708486 SNPs (OR, 0.75; 95 % CI, 0.63–0.90; P additive = 0.002) were associated with reduced risk of lymphoma. Two gene regions (ADAM19 (P=0.009) and ICAM3 (P=0.009)) displayed global associations with lymphoma risk at the P<0.01 level. While our results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in integrin genes may play a role in the genesis of lymphoma in women, they should be viewed as exploratory until they are replicated in additional populations.
lymphoma; integrin; innate immunity; single nucleotide polymorphism
This study reports the first prospective evidence that high leukocyte mtDNA copy number is associated with increased future risk of RCC, suggesting that oxidative DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to renal carcinogenesis.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is vulnerable to mutations, and the number of copies of mtDNA per cell may increase to compensate for DNA damage. Case–control studies have reported associations between altered mtDNA copy number and risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC); however, this association has not been investigated prospectively. We conducted a nested case–control study (252 cases and 504 controls) of RCC risk in relation to pre-diagnostic leukocyte mtDNA copy number in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. mtDNA copy number was measured in triplicate using a fluorescence-based quantitative PCR assay; samples from 22 cases and 36 controls could not be assayed, leaving 230 cases and 468 controls for analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. High mtDNA copy number was associated with an increased risk of RCC, both overall (highest quartile versus lowest: OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.2–3.2; P
trend = 0.002) and among cases diagnosed ≥6 years after blood collection (OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.4–5.0; P
trend = 0.003). These findings did not differ significantly by sex, body mass index, history of hypertension or smoking status (P
interaction ≥ 0.3). Results of this study suggest that high pre-diagnostic leukocyte mtDNA copy number, a suspected marker of oxidative DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, is associated with increased future RCC risk.
Genetic variation in immune-related genes may play a role in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). To test the hypothesis that innate immunity polymorphisms may be associated with NHL risk, we genotyped 144 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) capturing common genetic variation within 12 innate immunity gene regions in three independent population-based case-control studies (1946 cases and 1808 controls). Gene-based analyses found IL1RN to be associated with NHL risk (minP = 0.03); specifically, IL1RN rs2637988 was associated with an increased risk of NHL (per-allele odds ratio = 1.15, 95% confidence interval = 1.05 – 1.27; ptrend = 0.003), which was consistent across study, subtype, and gender. FCGR2A was also associated with a decreased risk of the follicular lymphoma NHL subtype (minP = 0.03). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in IL1RN and FCGR2A may play a role in lymphomagenesis. Given that conflicting results have been reported regarding the association between IL1RN SNPs and NHL risk, a larger number of innate immunity genes with sufficient genomic coverage should be evaluated systematically across many studies.
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; immune; innate immunity; genetic variation; single nucleotide polymorphisms
Lung cancer rates in Xuanwei are the highest in China. In-home use of smoky coal was associated with lung cancer risk, and the association of smoking and lung cancer risk strengthens after stove improvement. Here, we explored the differential association of tobacco use and lung cancer risk by the intensity, duration, and type of coal used.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a population-based case–control study of 260 male lung cancer cases and 260 age-matched male controls. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for tobacco use was calculated by conditional logistic regression.
Use of smoky coal was significantly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer risk, and tobacco use was weakly and non-significantly associated with lung cancer risk. When the association was assessed by coal use, the cigarette-lung cancer risk association was null in hazardous coal users and elevated in less hazardous smoky coal users and non-smoky coal users. The risk of lung cancer per cigarette per day decreased as annual use of coal increased (>0-3 tons: OR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.03-1.17; >3 tons: OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.95-1.03). Among more hazardous coal users, attenuation occurs at even low levels of usage (>0-3 tons: OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.91-1.14; >3 tons: OR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.97-1.03).
We found evidence that smoky coal attenuated the tobacco and lung cancer risk association in males that lived in Xuanwei, particularly among users of hazardous coal where even low levels of smoky coal attenuated the association. Our results suggest that the adverse effects of tobacco may become more apparent as China's population continues to switch to using cleaner fuels for the home, underscoring the urgent need for smoking cessation in China and elsewhere.
Coal; tobacco; lung cancer; indoor air pollution; China; global health; epidemiology
To evaluate the immunotoxicity of trichloroethylene (TCE), we conducted a cross-sectional molecular epidemiology study in China of workers exposed to TCE. We measured serum levels of IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α, which play a critical role in regulating various components of the immune system, in 71 exposed workers and 78 unexposed control workers. Repeated personal exposure measurements were taken in workers before blood collection using 3 M organic vapor monitoring badges. Compared to unexposed workers, the serum concentration of IL-10 in workers exposed to TCE was decreased by 70% (P = 0.001) after adjusting for potential confounders. Further, the magnitude of decline in IL-10 was >60% and statistically significant in workers exposed to <12 ppm as well as in workers with exposures ≥ 12 ppm of TCE, compared to unexposed workers. No significant differences in levels of IL-6 or TNF-α were observed among workers exposed to TCE compared to unexposed controls. Given that IL-10 plays an important role in immunologic processes, including mediating the Th1/Th2 balance, our findings provide additional evidence that TCE is immunotoxic in humans.
trichloroethylene; immunotoxicity; IL-10; TNF-α; IL-6; occupational exposure
Household air pollution (HAP) from solid fuel combustion contributes to 2.6% of the global burden of disease. HAP emissions are an established lung carcinogen; however, associations with other cancer sites have not been fully explored. We conducted a meta-analysis of 18 case–control studies. Using fixed-effects models, utilizing the adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) from each study, we evaluated the association between HAP and cervical neoplasia (663 cases and 1747 controls) and upper aero-digestive tract cancers (6022 cases and 15 325 controls). We found that HAP was associated with cervical neoplasia (OR = 6.46; 95% CI = 3.12-13.36; 4 studies); oral (OR = 2.44; 95% CI = 1.87-3.19; 4 studies; 1000 cases/3450 controls); nasopharyngeal (OR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.42-2.29; 6 studies; 2231 cases/2160 controls); pharyngeal (OR = 3.56; 95% CI = 2.22-5.70; 4 studies; 1036 cases/3746 controls); and laryngeal (OR = 2.35; 95% CI = 1.72- 3.21; 5 studies; 1416 cases/4514 controls) cancers. The elevated risk for esophageal cancer (OR = 1.92; 95% CI = 0.82-4.49; 2 studies; 339 cases/1455 controls) was non-significant. HAP was associated with cervical neoplasia among studies that accounted for HPV infection (OR = 9.60; 95% CI = 3.79-24.32) and smoking (OR = 4.72; 95% CI = 1.84-12.07). Similarly, our observed associations between HAP and upper aero-digestive tract cancers remained significantly elevated when analyses were restricted to studies that controlled for smoking. No significant publication bias was detected. Our results suggest that the carcinogenic effect of HAP observed for lung cancer may extend to other cancers, including those of the cervix and the upper aero-digestive tract. Further research is needed to confirm these associations in prospective studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0001-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Solid fuels; Cervical cancer; Upper aero-digestive cancer; Meta-analysis; Risk factor
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile chlorinated organic compound that is commonly used as a solvent for lipophilic compounds. Although recognized as an animal carcinogen, TCE’s carcinogenic potential in humans is still uncertain. We have carried out a cross-sectional study of 80 workers exposed to TCE and 96 unexposed controls matched on age and sex in Guangdong, China to study TCE’s early biologic effects. We previously reported that the total lymphocyte count and each of the major lymphocyte subsets (i.e., CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells, and B cells) were decreased in TCE-exposed workers compared to controls, suggesting a selective effect on lymphoid progenitors, and/or lymphocyte survival. To explore which T lymphocyte subsets are affected in the same study population, we investigated the effect of TCE exposure on the numbers of CD4+ naïve and memory T cells, CD8+ naïve and memory T cells, and regulatory T cells by FACS analysis. Linear regression of each subset was used to test for differences between exposed workers and controls adjusting for potential confounders. We observed that CD4+ and CD8+ naïve T cell counts were about 8% (p = 0.056) and 17% (p = 0.0002) lower, respectively, among exposed workers. CD4+ effector memory T cell counts were decreased by about 20% among TCE-exposed workers compared to controls (p = 0.001). The selective targeting of TCE on CD8+ naive and possibly CD4+ naive T cells, and CD4+ effector memory T cells, provide further insights into the immunosuppression-related response of human immune cells upon TCE exposure.
trichloroethylene; lymphocyte; CD4; CD8; naïve; memory
Genetic variation may be an important risk factor for multiple myeloma. A hallmark of tumor formation and growth is cell cycle dysregulation and apoptosis avoidance. We previously reported the association of genetic variation in caspase genes, the apoptotic-regulating family, and multiple myeloma risk. To further examine if genetic variation in key cell cycle and apoptosis genes alters multiple myeloma risk, we genotyped 276 tag SNPs in 27 gene regions in a population-based case-control study of non-Hispanic Caucasian women (108 cases; 482 controls) in Connecticut. Logistic regression assessed the effect of each SNP on multiple myeloma risk and the minP test assessed the association at the gene region level. Three gene regions were significantly associated with risk of multiple myeloma (BAX minP = 0.018, CASP9 minP = 0.025, and RIPK1 minP = 0.037). Further explorations identified the most significant variant of BAX, RIPK1, and CASP9 to be rs1042265, rs9391981, and rs751643, respectively. The A variant at rs1042265 (ORGA+AA = 0.40, 95%CI = 0.21 – 0.78) and the C variant at rs9391981 (ORGC+CC = 0.32, 95%CI = 0.12 – 0.81) were associated with a decreased risk of multiple myeloma. The G variant at rs7516435 was associated with an increased risk of multiple myeloma (ORAG = 1.48, 95%CI = 0.94 – 2.32; ORGG = 2.59, 95%CI = 1.30 – 5.15; ptrend = 0.005). Haplotype analyses supported the SNP findings. These findings suggest that genetic variation in cell cycle and apoptosis genes may play a key role in multiple myeloma and warrant further investigation through replication studies.
multiple myeloma; caspase; BAX; RIPK1; cell cycle
Common genetic variation may play an important role in altering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk. In Xuanwei, China, the COPD rate is more than twice the Chinese national average, and COPD is strongly associated with in-home coal use. To identify genetic variation that may be associated with COPD in a population with substantial in-home coal smoke exposures, we evaluated 1,261 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 380 candidate genes potentially relevant for cancer and other human diseases in a population-based case-control study in Xuanwei (53 cases; 107 controls). PTEN was the most significantly associated gene with COPD in a minP analysis using 20,000 permutations (P = 0.00005). SNP-based analyses found that homozygote variant carriers of PTEN rs701848 (ORTT = 0.12, 95%CI = 0.03 - 0.47) had a significant decreased risk of COPD. PTEN, or phosphatase and tensin homolog, is an important regulator of cell cycle progression and cellular survival via the AKT signaling pathway. Our exploratory analysis suggests that genetic variation in PTEN may be an important risk factor of COPD in Xuanwei. However, due to the small sample size, additional studies are needed to evaluate these associations within Xuanwei and other populations with coal smoke exposures.
COPD; cell cycle; apoptosis; AKT; PTEN
Telomeres are responsible for the protection of the chromosome ends and shortened telomere length has been associated with risk of multiple cancers. Genetic variation in telomere related genes may alter cancer risk associated with telomere length. Using lung cancer cases (n = 120) and population-based controls (n = 110) from Xuanwei, China, we analyzed telomere length separately and in conjunction with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the telomere maintenance genes POT1, TERT, and TERF2, which we have previously reported were associated with risk of lung cancer in this study. POT1 rs10244817, TERT rs2075786, and TERF2 rs251796 were significantly associated with lung cancer (ptrend ≤ 0.05). The shortest tertile of telomere length was not significantly associated with risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.58; 95% CI = 0.79 – 3.18) when compared to the longest tertile of telomere length. When stratified by genotype, there was a suggestion of a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer among the POT1 rs10244817 common variant carriers (OR (95%CI) = 1.33 (0.47 – 3.75), 3.30 (1.14 – 9.56), respectively) but not among variant genotype carriers (pinteraction = 0.05). Our findings provide evidence that telomere length and genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes may be associated with risk of lung cancer susceptibility and warrant replication in larger studies.
POT1; TERT; TERF2
The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.
We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990–2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.
292 982 (95% UI 261 017–327 792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376 034 (343 483–407 574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was −0·3% (−1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and −2·7% (−3·9 to −1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290–2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2–0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1–1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6–3·6) in Iceland.
Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Genetic variation in immune-related genes, such as IL10 and TNF, have been associated with the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in Caucasian populations. To test the hypothesis that IL10 and TNF polymorphisms may be associated with NHL risk in Asian populations, we genotyped 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the IL10 and TNF/LTA loci in three independent case–control studies (2635 cases and 4234 controls). IL10 rs1800871, rs1800872, and rs1800896 were genotyped in all three studies, while 5 of the remaining SNPs were genotyped in two studies, and 12 in a single study. IL10 rs1800896 was associated with B cell lymphoma [per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.25, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.08–1.45; ptrend = 0.003], specifically diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (per-allele OR = 1.29, 95 % CI 1.08–1.53; ptrend = 0.004), as well as T cell lymphoma (per-allele OR = 1.44, 95 % CI 1.13–1.82; ptrend = 0.003). TNF rs1800629, which was genotyped in only two of our studies, was also associated with B cell lymphoma (per-allele OR = 0.77, 95 % CI 0.64–0.91; ptrend = 0.003), specifically DLBCL (per-allele OR = 0.69, 95 % CI 0.55–0.86; ptrend = 0.001). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in IL10 and TNF may also play a role in lymphomagenesis in Asian populations.
NHL; DLBCL; Subtype; Asia; IL10; TNF
Combustion-derived nanoparticles (CDNPs) have not been readably measurable until recently. We conducted a pilot study to determine CDNP levels during solid fuel burning. The aggregate surface area of CDNP (μm2/cm3) was monitored continuously in 15 Chinese homes using varying fuel types (i.e. bituminous coal, anthracite coal, wood) and stove types (i.e. portable stoves, stoves with chimneys, firepits). Information on fuel burning activities was collected and PM2.5 levels were measured. Substantial exposure differences were observed during solid fuel burning (mean: 228.1 μm2/cm3) compared to times without combustion (mean: 14.0 μm2/cm3). The observed levels during burning were reduced by about four-fold in homes with a chimney (mean: 92.1 μm2/cm3; n = 9), and effects were present for all fuel types. Each home’s CDNP measurement was only moderately correlated with the respective PM2.5 measurements (r2 = 0.43; p = 0.11). Our results indicate that household coal and wood burning contributes to indoor nanoparticle levels, which are not fully reflected in PM2.5 measurements.
coal; biomass; wood; stove; nanoparticle; respiratory
Multiple myeloma is a haematological malignency, characterized by clonal expansion of plasma cells. However, little is known about the cause of multiple myeloma. Cancer cells must avoid apoptosis to ensure unregulated tumour formation and growth. The highly conserved caspase cascade is essential to the regulation of the apoptotic pathway. To examine if five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four caspase genes [CASP3 Ex8-280 C >A (rs6948), CASP3 Ex8 + 567 T >C (rs1049216), CASP8 Ex14-271 A >T (rs13113), CASP9 Ex5 + 32 G >A (rs1052576), CASP10 Ex3-171 A >G (rs39001150)] alter multiple myeloma risk, we conducted a population-based case-control study of women (128 cases; 516 controls) in Connecticut. Compared to individuals with the TT genotype of CASP3 Ex8 + 567 T >C, subjects with the CC genotype had a five-fold decreased risk of multiple myeloma (odds ratio (OR)CC = 0.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.0–1.0). Further, individuals with the AG and AA genotypes of CASP9 Ex5 + 32 G >A also experienced a decreased risk of multiple myeloma (ORAG = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.5–1.3; ORAA = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3–0.9; p-trend = 0.02). While no previous study has evaluated the association between caspase genes and multiple myeloma, studies have found associations with lung, breast, esophageal, gastric, colorectal and cervical cancers. Our parallel study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which utilized the same controls, found strong evidence that caspase genes play a key role in lymphogenesis. The protective associations observed in two key caspase genes suggest that genetic variation in CASP genes may play an important role in the aetiology of multiple myeloma.
multiple myeloma; caspase; variant; polymorphism; snp; risk factors
The Millennium Declaration in 2000 brought special global attention to HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria through the formulation of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6. The Global Burden of Disease 2013 study provides a consistent and comprehensive approach to disease estimation for between 1990 and 2013, and an opportunity to assess whether accelerated progress has occurred since the Millennium Declaration.
To estimate incidence and mortality for HIV, we used the UNAIDS Spectrum model appropriately modified based on a systematic review of available studies of mortality with and without antiretroviral therapy (ART). For concentrated epidemics, we calibrated Spectrum models to fit vital registration data corrected for misclassification of HIV deaths. In generalised epidemics, we minimised a loss function to select epidemic curves most consistent with prevalence data and demographic data for all-cause mortality. We analysed counterfactual scenarios for HIV to assess years of life saved through prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and ART. For tuberculosis, we analysed vital registration and verbal autopsy data to estimate mortality using cause of death ensemble modelling. We analysed data for corrected case-notifications, expert opinions on the case-detection rate, prevalence surveys, and estimated cause-specific mortality using Bayesian meta-regression to generate consistent trends in all parameters. We analysed malaria mortality and incidence using an updated cause of death database, a systematic analysis of verbal autopsy validation studies for malaria, and recent studies (2010–13) of incidence, drug resistance, and coverage of insecticide-treated bednets.
Globally in 2013, there were 1·8 million new HIV infections (95% uncertainty interval 1·7 million to 2·1 million), 29·2 million prevalent HIV cases (28·1 to 31·7), and 1·3 million HIV deaths (1·3 to 1·5). At the peak of the epidemic in 2005, HIV caused 1·7 million deaths (1·6 million to 1·9 million). Concentrated epidemics in Latin America and eastern Europe are substantially smaller than previously estimated. Through interventions including PMTCT and ART, 19·1 million life-years (16·6 million to 21·5 million) have been saved, 70·3% (65·4 to 76·1) in developing countries. From 2000 to 2011, the ratio of development assistance for health for HIV to years of life saved through intervention was US$4498 in developing countries. Including in HIV-positive individuals, all-form tuberculosis incidence was 7·5 million (7·4 million to 7·7 million), prevalence was 11·9 million (11·6 million to 12·2 million), and number of deaths was 1·4 million (1·3 million to 1·5 million) in 2013. In the same year and in only individuals who were HIV-negative, all-form tuberculosis incidence was 7·1 million (6·9 million to 7·3 million), prevalence was 11·2 million (10·8 million to 11·6 million), and number of deaths was 1·3 million (1·2 million to 1·4 million). Annualised rates of change (ARC) for incidence, prevalence, and death became negative after 2000. Tuberculosis in HIV-negative individuals disproportionately occurs in men and boys (versus women and girls); 64·0% of cases (63·6 to 64·3) and 64·7% of deaths (60·8 to 70·3). Globally, malaria cases and deaths grew rapidly from 1990 reaching a peak of 232 million cases (143 million to 387 million) in 2003 and 1·2 million deaths (1·1 million to 1·4 million) in 2004. Since 2004, child deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa have decreased by 31·5% (15·7 to 44·1). Outside of Africa, malaria mortality has been steadily decreasing since 1990.
Our estimates of the number of people living with HIV are 18·7% smaller than UNAIDS’s estimates in 2012. The number of people living with malaria is larger than estimated by WHO. The number of people living with HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria have all decreased since 2000. At the global level, upward trends for malaria and HIV deaths have been reversed and declines in tuberculosis deaths have accelerated. 101 countries (74 of which are developing) still have increasing HIV incidence. Substantial progress since the Millennium Declaration is an encouraging sign of the effect of global action.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Over half of the world's population is exposed to household air pollution from the burning of solid fuels at home. Household air pollution from solid fuel use is a leading risk factor for global disease and remains a major public health problem, especially in low- and mid-income countries. This is a particularly serious problem in China, where many people in rural areas still use coal for household heating and cooking. This review focuses on several decades of research carried out in Xuanwei County, Yunnan Province, where household coal use is a major source of household air pollution and where studies have linked household air pollution exposure to high rates of lung cancer. We conducted a series of case-control and cohort studies in Xuanwei to characterize the lung cancer risk in this population and the factors associated with it. We found lung cancer risk to vary substantially between different coal types, with a higher risk associated with smoky (i.e., bituminous) coal use compared to smokeless (i.e., anthracite) coal use. The installation of a chimney in homes resulted in a substantial reduction in lung cancer incidence and mortality. Overall, our research underscores the need among existing coal users to improve ventilation, use the least toxic fuel, and eventually move toward the use of cleaner fuels, such as gas and electricity.
Coal; household air pollution; lung cancer
To identify common genetic variants that contribute to lung cancer susceptibility, we conducted a multistage genome-wide association study of lung cancer in Asian women who never smoked. We scanned 5,510 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 4,544 controls drawn from 14 studies from mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We genotyped the most promising variants (associated at P < 5 × 10-6) in an additional 1,099 cases and 2,913 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 10q25.2 (rs7086803, P = 3.54 × 10-18), 6q22.2 (rs9387478, P = 4.14 × 10-10) and 6p21.32 (rs2395185, P = 9.51 × 10-9). We also confirmed associations reported for loci at 5p15.33 and 3q28 and a recently reported finding at 17q24.3. We observed no evidence of association for lung cancer at 15q25 in never-smoking women in Asia, providing strong evidence that this locus is not associated with lung cancer independent of smoking.
Remarkable financial and political efforts have been focused on the reduction of child mortality during the past few decades. Timely measurements of levels and trends in under-5 mortality are important to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) target of reduction of child mortality by two thirds from 1990 to 2015, and to identify models of success.
We generated updated estimates of child mortality in early neonatal (age 0–6 days), late neonatal (7–28 days), postneonatal (29–364 days), childhood (1–4 years), and under-5 (0–4 years) age groups for 188 countries from 1970 to 2013, with more than 29 000 survey, census, vital registration, and sample registration datapoints. We used Gaussian process regression with adjustments for bias and non-sampling error to synthesise the data for under-5 mortality for each country, and a separate model to estimate mortality for more detailed age groups. We used explanatory mixed effects regression models to assess the association between under-5 mortality and income per person, maternal education, HIV child death rates, secular shifts, and other factors. To quantify the contribution of these different factors and birth numbers to the change in numbers of deaths in under-5 age groups from 1990 to 2013, we used Shapley decomposition. We used estimated rates of change between 2000 and 2013 to construct under-5 mortality rate scenarios out to 2030.
We estimated that 6·3 million (95% UI 6·0–6·6) children under-5 died in 2013, a 64% reduction from 17·6 million (17·1–18·1) in 1970. In 2013, child mortality rates ranged from 152·5 per 1000 livebirths (130·6–177·4) in Guinea-Bissau to 2·3 (1·8–2·9) per 1000 in Singapore. The annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2013 ranged from −6·8% to 0·1%. 99 of 188 countries, including 43 of 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, had faster decreases in child mortality during 2000–13 than during 1990–2000. In 2013, neonatal deaths accounted for 41·6% of under-5 deaths compared with 37·4% in 1990. Compared with 1990, in 2013, rising numbers of births, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, led to 1·4 million more child deaths, and rising income per person and maternal education led to 0·9 million and 2·2 million fewer deaths, respectively. Changes in secular trends led to 4·2 million fewer deaths. Unexplained factors accounted for only −1% of the change in child deaths. In 30 developing countries, decreases since 2000 have been faster than predicted attributable to income, education, and secular shift alone.
Only 27 developing countries are expected to achieve MDG 4. Decreases since 2000 in under-5 mortality rates are accelerating in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The Millennium Declaration and increased development assistance for health might have been a factor in faster decreases in some developing countries. Without further accelerated progress, many countries in west and central Africa will still have high levels of under-5 mortality in 2030.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US Agency for International Development.