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1.  Risk Factor Modification and Projections of Absolute Breast Cancer Risk 
Although modifiable risk factors have been included in previous models that estimate or project breast cancer risk, there remains a need to estimate the effects of changes in modifiable risk factors on the absolute risk of breast cancer.
Using data from a case–control study of women in Italy (2569 case patients and 2588 control subjects studied from June 1, 1991, to April 1, 1994) and incidence and mortality data from the Florence Registries, we developed a model to predict the absolute risk of breast cancer that included five non-modifiable risk factors (reproductive characteristics, education, occupational activity, family history, and biopsy history) and three modifiable risk factors (alcohol consumption, leisure physical activity, and body mass index). The model was validated using independent data, and the percent risk reduction was calculated in high-risk subgroups identified by use of the Lorenz curve.
The model was reasonably well calibrated (ratio of expected to observed cancers = 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.96 to 1.26), but the discriminatory accuracy was modest. The absolute risk reduction from exposure modifications was nearly proportional to the risk before modifying the risk factors and increased with age and risk projection time span. Mean 20-year reductions in absolute risk among women aged 65 years were 1.6% (95% CI = 0.9% to 2.3%) in the entire population, 3.2% (95% CI = 1.8% to 4.8%) among women with a positive family history of breast cancer, and 4.1% (95% CI = 2.5% to 6.8%) among women who accounted for the highest 10% of the total population risk, as determined from the Lorenz curve.
These data give perspective on the potential reductions in absolute breast cancer risk from preventative strategies based on lifestyle changes. Our methods are also useful for calculating sample sizes required for trials to test lifestyle interventions.
PMCID: PMC3131219  PMID: 21705679
2.  Alcohol Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;171(1):36-44.
The authors investigated the relation between alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study, a population-based case-control study. Between 2002 and 2005, 2,100 patients with primary lung cancer were recruited from 13 hospitals within the Lombardy region of Italy and were frequency-matched on sex, area of residence, and age to 2,120 randomly selected controls. Alcohol consumption during adulthood was assessed in 1,855 cases and 2,065 controls. Data on lifetime tobacco smoking, diet, education, and anthropometric measures were collected. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for categories of mean daily ethanol intake were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Overall, both nondrinkers (odds ratio = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 2.01) and very heavy drinkers (≥60 g/day; odds ratio = 1.44, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 2.07) were at significantly greater risk than very light drinkers (0.1–4.9 g/day). The alcohol effect was modified by smoking behavior, with no excess risk being observed in never smokers. In summary, heavy alcohol consumption was a risk factor for lung cancer among smokers in this study. Although residual confounding by tobacco smoking cannot be ruled out, this finding may reflect interplay between alcohol and smoking, emphasizing the need for preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC2800301  PMID: 19933698
alcohol drinking; case-control studies; ethanol; lung neoplasms; risk factors; smoking
3.  Obesity and prevalence of chronic diseases in the 1999–2000 Italian National Health Survey 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:140.
There is consistent evidence that obesity is a correlate of mortality. Less information is available about the relation between body weight and the prevalence of diseases. We investigated the prevalence of overweight and obesity and their relationship with 14 groups of chronic diseases in a Mediterranean population using data from the Italian National Survey collected in 1999–2000.
A sample of 52,300 families was randomly selected using a complex stratified multistage design, within strata of geographical areas, municipalities, and household sizes, to produce estimates representative of the whole Italian population. Data were collected by civil servants both with an interview and a self-reported questionnaire.
The present study documents an increase in the prevalence of overweight among Italian adults in the last decades and an increased prevalence of several chronic conditions in obese or overweight individuals. A general pattern of a positive association between excess weight and chronic disease was observed for both sexes. The ratio of the prevalences of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases was higher in obese versus normal-weight individuals in the age group under 45 years.
To reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases a policy promoting a healthier individual lifestyle is becoming more and more desirable.
PMCID: PMC2386470  PMID: 18442368

Results 1-3 (3)