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1.  Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and periodontal disease in postmenopausal women 
Journal of periodontology  2012;84(9):1243-1256.
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that, together with its influence on bone health, may confer periodontal benefit.
We investigated cross-sectional associations (1997–2000) between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations [25(OH)D] and periodontal measure among 920 postmenopausal women. Chronic measures of disease were defined based on: 1) alveolar crestal height (ACH) measures from intraoral radiographs and tooth loss, and the 2) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) criteria using measures of clinical attachment level (CAL) and probing pocket depth (PD). Acute oral inflammation was assessed by the % of gingival sites that bled upon assessment with a probe. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for periodontal disease among participants with adequate ([25(OH)D]≥50 nmol/L) compared to deficient/inadequate ([25(OH)D]<50 nmol/L) vitamin D status adjusted for age, dental visit frequency, and body mass index.
No association was observed between vitamin D status and periodontal disease defined by ACH and tooth loss (adjusted OR=0.96, 95% CI: 0.68–1.35). In contrast, women with adequate compared to deficient/inadequate vitamin D status had a 33% lower odds (95% CI: 5%–53%) of periodontal disease defined using the CDC/AAP definition and a 42% lower odds (95% CI: 21%-58%) of having ≥50% of gingival sites that bled.
Vitamin D status was inversely associated with gingival bleeding, an acute measure of oral health and inflammation and inversely associated with clinical categories of chronic periodontal disease that incorporated PD, an indicator of oral inflammation. However, vitamin D was not associated with chronic periodontal disease based on measures of ACH in combination with tooth loss.
PMCID: PMC3745794  PMID: 23259413
vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; periodontal diseases; postmenopausal period; epidemiology; women
2.  Adipokines Do Not Mediate the Association of Obesity and Colorectal Adenoma 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2014;2014:371254.
Purpose. The association between obesity and colon neoplasia is well established but the underlying biological mechanisms are not fully understood. Rates of both obesity and colon cancer differ by race. Adipokines have been postulated as contributors to the observed association; however, few studies have examined the mediating effect of adipokines on the obesity-colon adenoma association with consideration of racial differences. Methods. We determined prediagnostic levels of adiponectin and leptin in Caucasians (217 cases and 650 controls) and African Americans (175 cases and 378 controls) participating in the Case Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Colon Adenoma Study. We evaluated mediating effects of adiponectin and leptin on the association of abdominal adiposity and colon adenoma separately according to race using mediational pathway analysis. Results. We observed differences in circulating adipokine concentrations by race; African Americans had higher levels of leptin and lower levels of adiponectin than Caucasians for both adenoma cases and controls (P values <0.001). Leptin and adiponectin did not mediate the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adenoma association in either group (all Sobel P values >0.27). Conclusions. We found no evidence that leptin or adiponectin mediates the abdominal obesity-colorectal adenoma pathway. Larger studies on how these associations vary by race, sex, and obesity are needed.
PMCID: PMC4147295  PMID: 25197277
3.  Genetic Evidence for Role of Carotenoids in Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS) 
We tested variants in genes related to lutein and zeaxanthin status for association with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS).
Of 2005 CAREDS participants, 1663 were graded for AMD from fundus photography and genotyped for 424 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 24 candidate genes for carotenoid status. Of 337 AMD cases 91% had early or intermediate AMD. The SNPs were tested individually for association with AMD using logistic regression. A carotenoid-related genetic risk model was built using backward selection and compared to existing AMD risk factors using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).
A total of 24 variants from five genes (BCMO1, BCO2, NPCL1L1, ABCG8, and FADS2) not previously related to AMD and four genes related to AMD in previous studies (SCARB1, ABCA1, APOE, and ALDH3A2) were associated independently with AMD, after adjusting for age and ancestry. Variants in all genes (not always the identical SNPs) were associated with lutein and zeaxanthin in serum and/or macula, in this or other samples, except for BCO2 and FADS2. A genetic risk score including nine variants significantly (P = 0.002) discriminated between AMD cases and controls beyond age, smoking, CFH Y402H, and ARMS2 A69S. The odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for AMD among women in the highest versus lowest quintile for the risk score was 3.1 (2.0–4.9).
Variants in genes related to lutein and zeaxanthin status were associated with AMD in CAREDS, adding to the body of evidence supporting a protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in risk of AMD.
In this study of over 1600 postmenopausal women of the CAREDS, we describe the first evidence that variation in multiple genes related to carotenoid status in the blood and macula are associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
PMCID: PMC3908680  PMID: 24346170
macular degeneration; carotenoids; genes
4.  Adipokines in Plasma and Breast Tissues: Associations with Breast Cancer Risk Factors 
Blood adipokines are associated with breast cancer risk; however, blood–breast adipokine correlations and factors that explain variation in adipokines are unknown.
Plasma (n = 155) and breast (n = 85) leptin and adiponectin were assessed by immunoassays in women with no history of cancer. Multivariable-adjusted regression models were used to determine breast adipokine associations.
Through body mass index (BMI)-adjusted analyses, we initially observed positive plasma–breast correlations for leptin (r = 0.41, P = 0.0002) and adiponectin (r = 0.23, P = 0.05). The positive plasma–breast correlation for leptin was strongest among normal weight women (r = 0.62), whereas the correlation for adiponectin was strongest among obese women (r = 0.31). In multivariable models, adjusting for BMI, demographic, reproductive, and lifestyle factors, plasma leptin was not associated with breast leptin, and only the highest quartile of plasma adiponectin was associated with tissue levels. Of the risk factors investigated, those that contributed most to the variation in breast tissue adipokines were BMI and race for leptin, oral contraceptive use and smoking status for adiponectin.
Although we report positive plasma–breast adipokine correlations overall, plasma adipokine concentrations may not be good surrogates for breast concentrations among all women. Predictors of breast adipokines vary, depending on subject characteristics, possibly explaining inconsistent epidemiologic results and they implicate differing pathways toward carcinogenesis.
A clearer understanding of the relationships between plasma adipokines and their levels within the target organ is necessary to better understand the impact of these hormones on breast cancer risk. Future studies are needed to identify additional factors associated with breast adipokines in target tissues.
PMCID: PMC3760187  PMID: 22892282
5.  Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in a Pooled Analysis of 14 Cohort Studies 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(5):373-386.
Fruit and vegetable intake may protect against pancreatic cancer, since fruits and vegetables are rich in potentially cancer-preventive nutrients. Most case-control studies have found inverse associations between fruit and vegetable intake and pancreatic cancer risk, although bias due to reporting error cannot be ruled out. In most prospective studies, inverse associations have been weaker and imprecise because of small numbers of cases. The authors examined fruit and vegetable intake in relation to pancreatic cancer risk in a pooled analysis of 14 prospective studies from North America, Europe, and Australia (study periods between 1980 and 2005). Relative risks and 2-sided 95% confidence intervals were estimated separately for the 14 studies using the Cox proportional hazards model and were then pooled using a random-effects model. Of 862,584 men and women followed for 7−20 years, 2,212 developed pancreatic cancer. The pooled multivariate relative risks of pancreatic cancer per 100-g/day increase in intake were 1.01 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99, 1.03) for total fruits and vegetables, 1.01 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.03) for total fruits, and 1.02 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.06) for total vegetables. Associations were similar for men and women separately and across studies. These results suggest that fruit and vegetable intake during adulthood is not associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3499118  PMID: 22875754
diet; fruit; pancreatic neoplasms; prospective studies; vegetables
6.  Differences between food group reports of low energy reporters and non-low energy reporters on a food frequency questionnaire 
Low-energy reporters (LERs) and non-LERs differ with respect to a number of characteristics, including self-reported intake of foods. Limited data exists investigating food intake differences with LERs identified using doubly labeled water (DLW).
In the Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition Study (September, 1999-March, 2000), differences were examined between food group reports of LERs and non-LERs on a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) (n=440).
LERs were identified using DLW. LERs' (n=220) and non-LERs' (n=220) reports of 43 food groups on the FFQ were examined in three ways: whether they reported consuming a food group (yes/no), how frequently they reported consuming it (times/day), and the reported portion size (small, medium, or large). Analyses were adjusted for total energy expenditure from DLW.
LERs compared to non-LERs were less likely to report consumption for one food group among women (soft drinks/regular) and no food groups among men. Reported mean daily frequency of consumption was lower in LERs compared to non-LERs for 23 food groups among women and 24 food groups among men (18 food groups were similar in men and women). Additionally, reported mean portion sizes were smaller for LERs compared to non-LERs for 6 food groups among women and 5 food groups among men (3 food groups were similar in men and women). Results varied minimally by sex and body mass index (BMI).
LERs as compared to non-LERs were more likely to differ regarding their reported frequency of consumption of food groups than their reported consumption (yes/no) of the food groups or the food groups' reported portion sizes. Results did not vary greatly by sex or BMI. It still remains to be known whether improvement in questionnaire design or additional tools or methods would lead to a decrease in differential reporting due to LER status on an FFQ.
PMCID: PMC3721508  PMID: 19559136
energy underreporting; dietary assessment; food frequency questionnaire; foods
7.  Vitamin D Supplementation and Depression in the Women’s Health Initiative Calcium and Vitamin D Trial 
While observational studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency increases risk of depression, few clinical trials have tested whether vitamin D supplementation affects the occurrence of depression symptoms. The authors evaluated the impact of daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D3 combined with 1,000 mg of elemental calcium on measures of depression in a randomized, double-blinded US trial comprising 36,282 postmenopausal women. The Burnam scale and current use of antidepressant medication were used to assess depressive symptoms at randomization (1995–2000). Two years later, women again reported on their antidepressant use, and 2,263 completed a second Burnam scale. After 2 years, women randomized to receive vitamin D and calcium had an odds ratio for experiencing depressive symptoms (Burnam score ≥0.06) of 1.16 (95% confidence interval: 0.86, 1.56) compared with women in the placebo group. Supplementation was not associated with antidepressant use (odds ratio = 1.01, 95% confidence interval: 0.92, 1.12) or continuous depressive symptom score. Results stratified by baseline vitamin D and calcium intake, solar irradiance, and other factors were similar. The findings do not support a relation between supplementation with 400 IU/day of vitamin D3 along with calcium and depression in older women. Additional trials testing higher doses of vitamin D are needed to determine whether this nutrient may help prevent or treat depression.
PMCID: PMC3385159  PMID: 22573431
antidepressive agents; calcium; clinical trial; depression; dietary supplements; postmenopause; vitamin D; women
8.  Intraindividual variation in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D measures 5 years apart among postmenopausal women 
Current literature examining associations between vitamin D and chronic disease generally use a single assessment of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), assuming an individual’s 25(OH)D concentration is consistent over time.
We investigated the intraindividual variability between two measures of plasma 25(OH)D concentrations collected ~5 years apart (1997-2000 to 2002-2005) in 672 postmenopausal women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative. Plasma 25(OH)D was assessed using the DiaSorin LIAISON® chemiluminescence immunoassay. The within-pair coefficient of variation (CV) was 4.9% using blinded quality control samples. Mean and standard deviations (SD) of 25(OH)D at the two time points were compared using a paired t-test. An intraindividual CV and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) were used to assess intraindividual variability. A Spearman correlation coefficient (r) assessed the strength of the association between the two measures and concordance in vitamin D status at two time points
Mean 25(OH)D concentrations (nmol/L) significantly increased over time from 60.0 (SD=22.2) to 67.8 (SD=22.2) (p<0.05). The CV was 24.6%, the ICC (95% Confidence Interval (CI)) was 0.59 (0.54-0.64), and the Spearman r was 0.61 (95% CI=0.56-0.66). Greater concordance over 5 years was observed in participants with sufficient compared to deficient or inadequate baseline 25(OH)D concentrations (weighted kappa=0.39). Reliability measures were moderately influenced by season of blood draw and vitamin D supplement use.
There is moderate intraindividual variation in 25(OH)D concentrations over approximately 5 years.
These data support the use of a one-time measure of blood 25(OH)D in prospective studies with ≤ 5 years of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3372646  PMID: 22523182
25-hydroxyvitamin D; intraindividual variation; vitamin D; biomarkers; postmenopausal women
9.  The Effect of Calcium plus Vitamin D on Risk for Invasive Cancer: Results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Calcium Plus Vitamin D Randomized Clinical Trial 
Nutrition and Cancer  2011;63(6):827-841.
In the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial of calcium plus vitamin D (CaD), we examined the treatment effect on incidence and mortality for all invasive cancers. Postmenopausal women (N = 36,282) were randomized to 1,000 mg of elemental calcium with 400 IU vitamin D3 or placebo. Cox models estimated risk of cancer incidence and mortality. After 7.0 yr, 1,306 invasive cancers were diagnosed in the supplement and 1,333 in the placebo group [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.98; CI = 0.90, 1.05, unweighted P = 0.54]. Mortality did not differ between supplement (315, annualized% = .26) and placebo [(347, 0.28%; P = 0.17; HR = 0.90 (0.77, 1.05)]. Significant treatment interactions on incident cancer were found for family history of cancer, personal total intake of vitamin D, smoking, and WHI dietary trial randomized group. Calcium/vitamin D supplementation did not reduce invasive cancer incidence or mortality. Supplementation lowered cancer risk in the WHI healthy diet trial arm and in women without a first-degree relative with cancer. The interactions are only suggestive given multiple testing considerations. The low vitamin D dose provided, limited adherence, and lack of serum 25(OH)D values should be considered when interpreting these findings.
PMCID: PMC3403703  PMID: 21774589
10.  Duration of Physical Activity and Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D Status of Postmenopausal Women 
Annals of epidemiology  2011;21(6):440-449.
To investigate whether the association between physical activity and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations is independent of sun exposure, body size, and other potential explanatory variables.
Using data from a sample of 1,343 postmenopausal women, from the Women’s Health Initiative, linear regression was used to examine the associations of duration (minutes/week) of recreational activity and of yard work with 25(OH)D concentrations (nmol/L).
In age-adjusted analyses, positive associations were observed between 25(OH)D concentrations and both duration of recreational physical activity (β=0.71, SE(0.09), P<0.001) and yard work (β=0.36, SE(0.10), P=0.004). After further adjustment for vitamin D intake, self-reported sunlight exposure, waist circumference, and season of blood draw, 25(OH)D was significantly associated with recreational activity (β=0.21, SE(0.09), P=0.014) but not with yard work (β=0.18, SE(0.09), P=0.061). Interactions were observed between season and both recreational activity (Pinteraction=0.082) and yard work (Pinteraction=0.038) such that these activity-25(OH)D associations were greater during summer/fall compared to winter/spring. Self-reported sunlight exposure and measures of body size did not modify the associations.
The observed age-adjusted activity-25(OH)D associations were attenuated after adjusting for explanatory variables and were modified by season of blood draw. Adopting a lifestyle that incorporates outdoor physical activity during summer/fall, consuming recommended amounts of vitamin D, and maintaining a healthy weight may improve or maintain vitamin D status in postmenopausal women.
PMCID: PMC3090482  PMID: 21414803
25-hydroxyvitamin D; vitamin D; serum; sunlight exposure; physical activity; epidemiology; women
11.  Vitamin D Status and Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Postmenopausal Women 
Archives of ophthalmology  2011;129(4):481-489.
The relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations (nmol/L) and the prevalence of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was investigated among participants of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study.
Stereoscopic fundus photographs, taken from 2001–2004, assessed AMD status. Baseline (1994–1998) serum samples were available for 25(OH)D assays in 1,313 women with complete ocular and risk factor data. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for early AMD (n=241), among 1,287 without advanced disease, were estimated with logistic regression and adjusted for age, smoking, iris pigmentation, family history of AMD, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hormone therapy use.
In multivariate models, no significant relationship was observed between early AMD and 25(OH)D (OR for quintile 5 vs. 1=0.79, 95% CI=0.50–1.24; p for trend=0.47). A significant age interaction (p=0.0025) suggested selective mortality bias in women ≥75 years: serum 25(OH)D was associated with decreased odds of early AMD in women <75 years (n=968) and increased odds in women ≥75 years (n=319) (OR for quintile 5 vs. 1=0.52, 95% CI=0.29–0.91; p for trend=0.02 and 1.76, 95% CI=0.77–4.13; p for trend=0.05, respectively). Further adjustment for body mass index and recreational physical activity, predictors of 25(OH)D, attenuated the observed association in women <75 years. Additionally, among women <75 years, intake of vitamin D from foods and supplements was related to decreased odds of early AMD in multivariate models; no relationship was observed with self-reported time spent in direct sunlight.
High serum 25(OH)D concentrations may protect against early AMD in women <75 years.
PMCID: PMC3075411  PMID: 21482873
vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; sunlight; diet; macular degeneration; cohort studies; epidemiology
12.  Pretreatment Serum Concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Breast Cancer Prognostic Characteristics: A Case-Control and a Case-Series Study 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e17251.
Results from epidemiologic studies on the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer risk are inconclusive. It is possible that vitamin D may be effective in reducing risk only of specific subtypes due to disease heterogeneity.
Methods and Findings
In case-control and case-series analyses, we examined serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) in relation to breast cancer prognostic characteristics, including histologic grade, estrogen receptor (ER), and molecular subtypes defined by ER, progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2, among 579 women with incident breast cancer and 574 controls matched on age and time of blood draw enrolled in the Roswell Park Cancer Institute from 2003 to 2008. We found that breast cancer cases had significantly lower 25OHD concentrations than controls (adjusted mean, 22.8 versus 26.2 ng/mL, p<0.001). Among premenopausal women, 25OHD concentrations were lower in those with high- versus low-grade tumors, and ER negative versus ER positive tumors (p≤0.03). Levels were lowest among women with triple-negative cancer (17.5 ng/mL), significantly different from those with luminal A cancer (24.5 ng/mL, p = 0.002). In case-control analyses, premenopausal women with 25OHD concentrations above the median had significantly lower odds of having triple-negative cancer (OR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.08–0.53) than those with levels below the median; and every 10 ng/mL increase in serum 25OHD concentrations was associated with a 64% lower odds of having triple-negative cancer (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.22–0.56). The differential associations by tumor subtypes among premenopausal women were confirmed in case-series analyses.
In our analyses, higher serum levels of 25OHD were associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, with associations strongest for high grade, ER negative or triple negative cancers in premenopausal women. With further confirmation in large prospective studies, these findings could warrant vitamin D supplementation for reducing breast cancer risk, particularly those with poor prognostic characteristics among premenopausal women.
PMCID: PMC3046139  PMID: 21386992
13.  Alcohol consumption and genetic variation in MTHFR and MTR in relation to breast cancer risk 
It has been hypothesized that effects of alcohol consumption on one-carbon metabolism may explain, in part, the association of alcohol consumption with breast cancer risk. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferease (MTR) genes express key enzymes in this pathway. We investigated the association of polymorphisms in MTHFR (rs1801133 and rs1801131) and MTR (rs1805087) with breast cancer risk and their interaction with alcohol consumption in a case-control study, the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) study. Cases (n=1063) were women with primary, incident breast cancer and controls (n= 1890) were frequency matched to cases on age and race. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by unconditional logistic regression. We found no association of MTHFR or MTR genotype with risk of breast cancer. In the original case control study, there was a nonsignificant increased odds of breast cancer among women with higher lifetime drinking. In the current study, there was no evidence of an interaction of genotype and alcohol in premenopausal women. However, among postmenopausal women there was an increase in breast cancer risk for women who were homozygote TT for MTHFR C677T and had high lifetime alcohol intake (≥1161.84 ounces) (OR=1.92, CI=1.13–3.28) and for those who had a high number of drinks per drinking day (> 1.91 drinks/day) (OR=1.80, CI=1.03–3.28) compared to nondrinkers who were homozygote CC. Our findings indicate that among postmenopausal women, increased breast cancer risk with alcohol consumption may be as a result of effects on one-carbon metabolism.
PMCID: PMC2941988  PMID: 19706843
breast cancer epidemiology; one carbon metabolism genes; alcohol

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