We examined the associations between muscular strength, markers of overall and central adiposity and cancer mortality in men.
Prospective cohort study including 8,677 men aged 20-82 years followed from 1980 to 2003. Participants were enrolled in The Aerobics Centre Longitudinal Study, the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, U.S. Muscular strength was quantified by combining 1-repetition maximal measures for leg and bench presses. Adiposity was assessed by body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, and waist circumference.
Cancer death rates per 10,000 person-years adjusted for age and examination year were: 17.5, 11.0, and 10.3 across incremental thirds of muscular strength (P=0.001); 10.9, 13.4, and 20.1 across BMI groups of 18.5-24.9, 25.0-29.9, and ≥30kg/m2, respectively (P=0.008); 11.6 and 17.5 for normal (<25%) and high percent body fat (≥25%), respectively (P=0.006); and 12.2 and 16.7 for normal (≤102 cm) and high waist circumference (>102 cm), respectively (P=0.06). After adjusting for additional potential confounders, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 1.00 (referent), 0.65 (0.47-0.90), and 0.61 (0.44-0.85) across incremental thirds of muscular strength, respectively (P=0.003 for linear trend). Further adjustment for BMI, percent body fat, waist circumference, or cardiorespiratory fitness had little effect on the association. The associations of BMI, percent body fat, or waist circumference with cancer mortality did not persist after further adjusting for muscular strength (all P≥0.1).
Higher levels of muscular strength are associated with lower cancer mortality risk in men, independent of clinically established measures of overall and central adiposity, and other potential confounders.
Muscular strength; obesity; cancer; cardiorespiratory fitness; resistance exercise
While African Americans are at significantly higher risk for developing certain cancers, they also have low rates of participation in cancer research, particularly clinical trials. This study assessed both African American men’s and African American women’s (1) knowledge of and participation in cancer-related clinical research and (2) barriers to and motivations for participating in clinical research. Data were collected from a total of 81 participants. Phase I of this research consisted of qualitative focus groups (all 81 participants). Phase II included quantitative pre/post survey data from an education program (56 participants). Findings from the study revealed that African American men and women had poor knowledge about clinical trials and the informed consent process, limited experience in participating in clinical trials, and they feared and mistrusted cancer research. Participants identified incentives, assurance of safety, knowledge and awareness, and benefiting others as motivators to participate in clinical trials research.
African Americans; clinical trials; cancer research; participation; barriers; motivators
To examine determinants of racial/ethnic differences in diabetes incidence among postmenopausal women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Data on race/ethnicity, baseline diabetes prevalence, and incident diabetes were obtained from 158,833 women recruited from 1993–1998 and followed through August 2009. The relationship between race/ethnicity, other potential risk factors, and the risk of incident diabetes was estimated using Cox proportional hazards models from which hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were computed.
Participants were aged 63 years on average at baseline. The racial/ethnic distribution was 84.1% non-Hispanic white, 9.2% non-Hispanic black, 4.1% Hispanic, and 2.6% Asian. After an average of 10.4 years of follow-up, compared with whites and adjusting for potential confounders, the HRs for incident diabetes were 1.55 for blacks (95% CI 1.47–1.63), 1.67 for Hispanics (1.54–1.81), and 1.86 for Asians (1.68–2.06). Whites, blacks, and Hispanics with all factors (i.e., weight, physical activity, dietary quality, and smoking) in the low-risk category had 60, 69, and 63% lower risk for incident diabetes. Although contributions of different risk factors varied slightly by race/ethnicity, most findings were similar across groups, and women who had both a healthy weight and were in the highest tertile of physical activity had less than one-third the risk of diabetes compared with obese and inactive women.
Despite large racial/ethnic differences in diabetes incidence, most variability could be attributed to lifestyle factors. Our findings show that the majority of diabetes cases are preventable, and risk reduction strategies can be effectively applied to all racial/ethnic groups.
Photovoice is a community-based participatory research method that researchers have used to identify and address individual and community health needs. We developed an abbreviated photovoice project to serve as a supplement to a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded pilot study focusing on prostate cancer (PrCA) that was set in a faith-based African-American community in South Carolina. We used photovoice for three reasons: (1) to enhance communication between study participants and researchers; (2) to empower African-American men and women to examine their health decisions through photographs; and 3) to better understand how participants from this community make health-related decisions. The 15 individuals participating in the photovoice project were asked to photograph aspects of their community that informed their health-related decisions. Participants provided written and oral narratives to describe the images in a small sample of photographs. Four primary themes emerged in participants’ photographs and narratives: 1) food choices; 2) physical activity practices; 3) community environment and access to care; and 4) influences of spirituality and nature on health. Although written and audio-recorded narratives were similar in content, the audio-recorded responses were more descriptive and emotional. Results suggest that incorporating audio-recorded narratives in community photovoice presentations may have a greater impact than written narratives on health promotion and decision-making and policy-makers due to an increased level of detail and personalization. In conclusion, photovoice strengthened the parent study and empowered participants by making them more aware of factors influencing their health decisions.
community-based participatory research; African American; health decision making; photography; qualitative analysis
Physical activity may protect against breast cancer. Few prospective studies have evaluated breast cancer mortality in relation to cardiorespiratory fitness, an objective marker of physiologic response to physical activity habits.
We examined the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and risk of death from breast cancer in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Women (N=14,811), aged 20 to 83 years with no prior breast cancer history, received a preventive medical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX, between 1970 and 2001. Mortality surveillance was completed through December 31, 2003. Cardiorespiratory fitness was quantified as maximal treadmill exercise test duration and was categorized for analysis as low (lowest 20% of exercise duration), moderate (middle 40%), and high (upper 40%). At baseline, all participants were able to complete the exercise test to at least 85% of their age-predicted maximal heart rate.
A total of 68 breast cancer deaths occurred during follow-up (mean=16 years). Age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rates per 10,000 woman-years were 4.4, 3.2, and 1.8 for low, moderate, and high cardiorespiratory fitness groups, respectively (trend P = 0.008). After further controlling for body mass index, smoking, drinking, chronic conditions, abnormal exercise electrocardiogram responses, family history of breast cancer, oral contraceptive use, and estrogen use, hazard ratios (95% CI) for breast cancer mortality across incremental cardiorespiratory fitness categories were 1.00 (referent), 0.67 (0.35–1.26), 0.45 (0.22–0.95); trend P = 0.04.
These results indicate that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a reduced risk of dying from breast cancer in women.
Epidemiology; Prevention; Death from breast cancer; Physical activity
The US Food and Drug Administration is assessing whether menthol should be banned as an additive to cigarettes. An important part of this determination concerns the health effects of mentholated relative to non-mentholated cigarettes. We examined the ecologic association between sales of mentholated cigarettes for the period 1950–2007, menthol preference by race and sex, and incidence rates of four tobacco-related cancers during 1973–2007. Total sales of mentholated cigarettes (market share) increased from about 3% in 1950 to slightly less than 30% in 1980 and remained fairly stable thereafter. Additional data show consistently that, compared to White smokers, Black smokers favor mentholated cigarettes by roughly a 3-fold margin. Differences in the incidence of lung cancer, squamous cell cancer of the esophagus, oropharyngeal cancer, and laryngeal cancer by race and sex and trends over a 35-year period, during which menthol sales were relatively stable and during which Black smokers were much more likely to smoke mentholated cigarettes compared to Whites, are not consistent with a large contribution of menthol, over and above the effect of smoking per se.
Mentholated cigarettes; Sales; Prevalence; Esophageal cancer; Lung cancer; Oropharyngeal cancer; Laryngeal cancer; Ecologic study
To examine the interactive influence of urbanicity on cardiovascular reactivity to speech stressors among 103 urban and 93 rural Cameroonians.
Heart rate, systolic, and diastolic blood pressure (HR, SBP, and DBP) changes from baseline were assessed during a speech preparation period, speech stressor task, and post-speech recovery period.
After adjusting for income, age, BMI, and sex, urban subjects showed greater diastolic reactivity to the pre-speech and speech conditions than to recovery. Urban subjects also showed greater reactivity to the speech stressor than to other conditions. Urban subjects showed greater HR reactivity to the speech stressor. Rural subjects showed greater diastolic reactivity to the pre-speech and speech stressor and less recovery.
Urbanicity affects blood pressure and heart rate differently for urban and rural Cameroonians. It also affects recovery from stressors. More exploration into the influence of urbanization on hypertension risk factors in developing countries is warranted. (Ethn Dis. 2010;20:251–256)
Heart Rate; Blood Pressure; Urban; Cameroon
Bidis are hand-rolled cigarettes commonly smoked in South Asia and are marketed to Western populations as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. This study examined the association between bidis and other forms of tobacco use and cancer incidence in an urban developing country population.
Using data from the large, well-characterized Mumbai cohort study, adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed from Cox proportional hazards regression models in order to compare the relative effect of various forms of tobacco use on cancer incidence.
During 649,228 person-years of follow-up 1,267 incident cancers occurred in 87,222 male cohort members. Incident oral cancer in bidi smokers (HR = 3.55; 95% CI = 2.40,5.24) was 42% higher than in cigarette smokers (HR = 2.50;95% CI = 1.65,3.78). For all respiratory and intrathoracic organs combined, the increase was 69% (HR = 5.54; 95% CI = 3.46,8.87 vs. HR = 3.28; 95% CI = 1.99,5.39); for lung and larynx, the increases were 35 and 112%, respectively. Smokeless tobacco use was associated with cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, digestive, respiratory, and intrathoracic organs.
Despite marketing claims to the contrary, we found that smokeless tobacco use and bidi smoking are at least as harmful as cigarette smoking for all incident cancers and are associated with increased risk of oral and respiratory/intrathoracic cancers.
Public health; Disease incidence; Cancer; Tobacco; Cohort study
To evaluate racial cancer disparities in Georgia (GA) by calculating and comparing mortality-to-incidence ratios (MIR) by health district and in relation to geographical factors.
Data sources included: cancer incidence (GA Comprehensive Cancer Registry), cancer mortality (GA Vital Records), and health factor (County Health Rankings) data. Age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates were calculated by cancer site (all sites combined, lung, colorectal, prostate, breast, oral, and cervical) for 2003–2007. MIRs and 95% confidence intervals were calculated overall and by district for each cancer site, race, and gender. MIRs were mapped by district and compared to geographic health factors.
186,419 incident cases and 71,533 deaths were identified. Blacks had higher MIRs than Whites for every cancer site evaluated, with especially large differentials observed for prostate, cervical, and oral cancer in men. Large geographic disparities were detected, with larger MIRs, chiefly among Blacks, in GA as compared to national data. The highest MIRs were detected in west and east central GA; the lowest MIRs were detected in and around Atlanta. Districts with better health behavior, clinical care, and social/economic factors had lower MIRs, especially among Whites.
More fatal cancers, particularly prostate, cervical, and oral cancer in men were detected among Blacks, especially in central GA, where health behavior and social/economic factors were worse. MIRs are an efficient indicator of survival and provide insight into racial cancer disparities. Additional examination of geographical determinants of cancer fatality in GA as indicated by MIRs is warranted.
neoplasms; health status disparities; minority health; Georgia; geographic factors
Background. Prior studies suggest that weight satisfaction may preclude changes in behavior that lead to healthier weight among individuals who are overweight or obese. Objective. To gain a better understanding of complex relationships between weight satisfaction, weight-related health behaviors, and health outcomes. Design. Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS). Participants. Large mixed-gender cohort of primarily white, middle-to-upper socioeconomic status (SES) adults with baseline examination between 1987 and 2002 (n = 19,003).
Main Outcome Variables. Weight satisfaction, weight-related health behaviors, chronic health conditions, and clinical health indicators. Statistical Analyses Performed. Chi-square test, t-tests, and linear and multivariate logistic regression. Results. Compared to men, women were more likely to be dieting (32% women; 18% men) and had higher weight dissatisfaction. Men and women with greater weight dissatisfaction reported more dieting, yo-yo dieting, and snacking and consuming fewer meals, being less active, and having to eat either more or less than desired to maintain weight regardless of weight status. Those who were overweight or obese and dissatisfied with their weight had the poorest health. Conclusion. Greater satisfaction with one's weight was associated with positive health behaviors and health outcomes in both men and women and across weight status groups.
Police officers are required to work irregular hours, which induces stress, fatigue, and sleep disruption, and they have higher rates of chronic disease and mortality. Cortisol is a well-known “stress hormone” produced via activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. An abnormal secretion pattern has been associated with immune system dysregulation and may serve as an early indicator of disease risk. This study examined the effects of long- and short-term shiftwork on the cortisol awakening response among officers (n = 68) in the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) pilot study (2001–2003). The time each officer spent on day (start time: 04:00–11:59 h), afternoon (12:00–19:59 h), or night (20:00–03:59 h) shifts was summarized from 1994 to examination date to characterize long-term (mean: 14 ± 9 yrs) and short-term (3, 5, 7, or 14 days prior to participation) shiftwork exposures. The cortisol awakening response was characterized by summarizing the area under the curve (AUC) for samples collected on first awakening, and at 15-, 30-, and 45-min intervals after waking. Data were collected on a scheduled training or off day. The cortisol AUC with respect to ground (AUCG) summarized total cortisol output after waking, and the cortisol AUC with respect to increase (AUCI) characterized the waking cortisol response. Officers also completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Waking cortisol AUC values were lower among officers working short-term night or afternoon shifts than day shifts, with maximal differences occurring after 5 days of shiftwork. The duration of long-term shiftwork was not associated with the cortisol awakening response, although values were attenuated among officers with more career shift changes.
Cortisol awakening response; Police; Shiftwork; Stress
This study evaluated whether measures of waking or diurnal cortisol secretion, or self-reported psychological disturbances differed among police officers with a Period3 (PER3) clock gene length polymorphism.
The cortisol awakening response was characterized via the area under the salivary cortisol curve with respect to the increase (AUCI) or total waking cortisol (AUCG). Diurnal cortisol measures included the slope of diurnal cortisol and the diurnal AUCG. Psychological disturbances were characterized using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Impact of Events Scale, and Life Events Scale.
Officers with a 4/5 or 5/5 genotype had higher awakening AUCG and greater diurnal cortisol AUCG levels compared to officers with the 4/4 genotype. Among those working more afternoon or night shifts, waking AUCI and AUCG were greater among officers with a 4/5 or 5/5 genotype compared to the 4/4 referents.
Cortisol secretion was modified among police officers with different PER3 VNTR clock gene variants.
PER3 VNTR; circadian; cortisol; shiftwork; police
Nearly 35% of men treated for prostate cancer (PrCA) will experience biochemically defined recurrence, noted by a rise in PSA, within ten years of definitive therapy. Diet, physical activity, and stress reduction may affect tumor promotion and disease progression.
A randomized trial of an intensive diet, physical activity, and meditation intervention was conducted in men with rising post-treatment PSA after definitive treatment for PrCA. Intention-to-treat methods were used to compare usual care to the intervention in 47 men with complete data. Signal detection methods were used to identify dietary factors associated with PSA change.
The intervention and control groups did not differ statistically on any demographic or disease-related factor. Although the intervention group experienced decreases of 39% in intakes of saturated fatty acid (SFA as percent of total calories) (p<0.0001) and 12% in total energy intake (218 kcal/day p<0.05)], no difference in PSA change was observed by intervention status. Signal detection methods indicated that in men increasing their consumption of fruit, 56% experienced no rise in PSA (vs. 29% in men who did not increase their fruit intake). Among men who increased fruit and fiber intakes, PSA increased in 83% of participants who also increased saturated fatty acid intake (vs. 44% in participants who decreased or maintained saturated fatty acid intake).
Results are discussed in the context of conventional treatment strategies that were more aggressive when this study was being conducted in the mid-2000s. Positive health changes in a number of lifestyle parameters were observed with the intervention, and both increased fruit and reduced saturated fat intakes were associated with maintaining PSA levels in men with biochemically recurrent disease.
prostate cancer; diet; physical activity; stress reduction
Relationships between socio-environmental factors and obesity are poorly understood due to a dearth of longitudinal population-level research. The objective of this analysis was to examine 45-year trends in time-use, household management (HM) and energy expenditure in women.
Design and Participants
Using national time-use data from women 19–64 years of age, we quantified time allocation and household management energy expenditure (HMEE) from 1965 to 2010. HM was defined as the sum of time spent in food preparation, post-meal cleaning activities (e.g., dish-washing), clothing maintenance (e.g., laundry), and general housework. HMEE was calculated using body weights from national surveys and metabolic equivalents.
The time allocated to HM by women (19–64 yrs) decreased from 25.7 hr/week in 1965 to 13.3 hr/week in 2010 (P<0.001), with non-employed women decreasing by 16.6 hr/week and employed women by 6.7 hr/week (P<0.001). HMEE for non-employed women decreased 42% from 25.1 Mj/week (6004 kilocalories per week) in 1965 to 14.6 Mj/week (3486 kcal/week) in 2010, a decrement of 10.5 Mj/week or 1.5 Mj/day (2518 kcal/week; 360 kcal/day) (P<0.001), whereas employed women demonstrated a 30% decrement of 3.9 Mj/week, 0.55 Mj/day (923 kcal/week, 132 kcal/day) (P<0.001). The time women spent in screen-based media use increased from 8.3 hr/week in 1965 to 16.5 hr/week in 2010 (P<0.001), with non-employed women increasing 9.6 hr/week and employed women 7.5 hr/week (P<0.001).
From 1965 to 2010, there was a large and significant decrease in the time allocated to HM. By 2010, women allocated 25% more time to screen-based media use than HM (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and laundry combined). The reallocation of time from active pursuits (i.e., housework) to sedentary pastimes (e.g., watching TV) has important health consequences. These results suggest that the decrement in HMEE may have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity in women during the last five decades.
Prostate cancer (PrCA) is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer among men. African-American (AA) men in South Carolina have a PrCA death rate 150% higher than that of European-American (EA) men. This in-depth qualitative research explored AA men’s and women’s current practices, barriers, and recommended strategies for PrCA communication. A purposive sample of 43 AA men and 38 AA spouses/female relatives participated in focus groups (11 male groups; 11 female groups). A 19-item discussion guide was developed. Coding and analyses were driven by the data; recurrent themes within and across groups were examined. Findings revealed AA men and women agreed on key barriers to discussing PrCA; however, they had differing perspectives on which of these were most important. Findings indicate that including AA women in PrCA research and education is needed to address barriers preventing AA men from effectively communicating about PrCA risk and screening with family and healthcare providers.
focus groups; cancer screening; health communication; social support; decision making
The impact of lifestyle factors on cancer mortality in the U.S. population has not been thoroughly explored. We examined the combined effects of cardiorespiratory fitness, never smoking, and normal waist girth on total cancer mortality in men.
We followed a total of 24,731 men ages 20–82 years who participated in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. A low-risk profile was defined as never smoking, moderate or high fitness, and normal waist girth, and they were further categorized as having 0, 1, 2, or 3 combined low-risk factors.
During an average of 14.5 years of follow-up, there were a total of 384 cancer deaths. After adjustment for age, examination year, and multiple risk factors, men who were physically fit, never smoked, and had a normal waist girth had a 62% lower risk of total cancer mortality (95% confidence interval [CI], 45%-73%) compared with men with zero low-risk factors. Men with all 3 low-risk factors had a 12-year (95% CI: 8.6–14.6) longer life expectancy compared with men with 0 low-risk factors. Approximately 37% (95% CI, 17%-52%) of total cancer deaths might have been avoided if the men had maintained all three low-risk factors.
Being physically fit, never smoking, and maintaining a normal waist girth is associated with lower risk of total cancer mortality in men.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness; Smoking; Waist Girth; Cancer Mortality
To assess social and clinical influences of prostate cancer treatment decisions among white and black men in the Midlands of South Carolina.
We linked data collected on treatment decision making in men diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1996 through 2002 with clinical and sociodemographic factors collected routinely by the South Carolina Central Cancer Registry (SCCCR). Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess social and clinical influences on treatment decision.
A total of 435 men were evaluated. Men of both races who chose surgery (versus radiation) were more likely to be influenced by their physician and by family/ friends. Black men who chose surgery also were ~5 times more likely to make independent decisions (i.e., rather than be influenced by their doctor). White men who chose surgery were twice as likely to be influenced by the desire for cure and less likely to consider the side effects of impotence (odds ratio (OR) = 0.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18, 0.88) and incontinence (OR = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.63); by contrast, there was a suggestion of an opposite effect in black men, whose decision regarding surgery tended to be more strongly influenced by these side effects.
Results suggest that both clinical and social predictors play an important role for men in choosing a prostate cancer treatment, but these influences may differ by race.
Prostatic neoplasms; Minority health; Decision making
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in adults decreases with age and is influenced by lifestyle. Low CRF is associated with risk of diseases and the ability of older persons to function independently. We defined the longitudinal rate of CRF decline with aging and the association of aging and lifestyle with CRF.
We studied a cohort of 3429 women and 16 889 men, aged 20 to 96 years, from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who completed 2 to 33 health examinations from 1974 to 2006. The lifestyle variables were body mass index, self-reported aerobic exercise, and smoking behavior. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured by a maximal Balke treadmill exercise test.
Linear mixed models regression analysis stratified by sex showed that the decline in CRF with age was not linear. After 45 years of age, CRF declined at an accelerated rate. For each unit of increase in body mass index, the CRF of women declined 0.20 metabolic equivalents (METs) (95% confidence interval, −0.21 to −0.19); that of men, 0.32 METs (−0.33 to −0.20). Current smokers of both sexes also had lower CRF (−0.29 METs [95% confidence interval, −0.40 to −0.19] for women and −0.41 METS [−0.44 to −0.38] for men). Cardiorespiratory fitness was positively associated with self-reported physical activity.
Cardiorespiratory fitness in men and women declines at a nonlinear rate that accelerates after 45 years of age. Maintaining a low BMI, being physically active, and not smoking are associated with higher CRF across the adult life span.
To examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and risk of incident prostate cancer (PrCA).
Participants were 19,042 male subjects in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS), ages 20 to 82 years, who received a baseline medical examination including a maximal treadmill exercise test between 1976 and 2003. CRF levels were defined as low (lowest 20%), moderate (middle 40%), and high (upper 40%) according to age-specific distribution of treadmill duration from the overall ACLS population. PrCA was assessed from responses to mail-back health surveys during 1982 to 2004. Cox proportional hazards regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, were used to compute hazard ratios (HRs), 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), and incidence rates (per 10,000 person-years of follow-up).
A total of 634 men reported a diagnosis of incident PrCA during an average of 9.3 ± 7.1 years of follow-up. Adjusted HRs (95% CIs) in men with moderate and high CRF relative to low CRF were, 1.68 (1.13–2.48) and 1.74 (1.15–2.62), respectively. The positive association between CRF and PrCA was observed only in the strata of men who were not obese, had ≥ 1 follow-up examination, or who were diagnosed ≤ 1995.
Rather than revealing a causal relationship, the unexpected positive association observed between CRF and incident PrCA is most likely due to a screening/detection bias in more fit men who also are more health-conscious. Results have important implications for understanding the health-related factors that predispose men to receive PrCA screening that may lead to over-detection of indolent disease.
Cardiorespiratory fitness; Prostate cancer; Cohort studies; Attitude to health; Screening/detection bias
Environmental uranium exposure originating as a byproduct of uranium processing can impact human health. The Fernald Feed Materials Production Center functioned as a uranium processing facility from 1951 to 1989, and potential health effects among residents living near this plant were investigated via the Fernald Medical Monitoring Program (FMMP).
Data from 8,216 adult FMMP participants were used to test the hypothesis that elevated uranium exposure was associated with indicators of hypertension or changes in hematologic parameters at entry into the program. A cumulative uranium exposure estimate, developed by FMMP investigators, was used to classify exposure. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and physician diagnoses were used to assess hypertension; and red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cell differential counts were used to characterize hematology. The relationship between uranium exposure and hypertension or hematologic parameters was evaluated using generalized linear models and quantile regression for continuous outcomes, and logistic regression or ordinal logistic regression for categorical outcomes, after adjustment for potential confounding factors.
Of 8,216 adult FMMP participants 4,187 (51%) had low cumulative uranium exposure, 1,273 (15%) had moderate exposure, and 2,756 (34%) were in the high (>0.50 Sievert) cumulative lifetime uranium exposure category. Participants with elevated uranium exposure had decreased white blood cell and lymphocyte counts and increased eosinophil counts. Female participants with higher uranium exposures had elevated systolic blood pressure compared to women with lower exposures. However, no exposure-related changes were observed in diastolic blood pressure or hypertension diagnoses among female or male participants.
Results from this investigation suggest that residents in the vicinity of the Fernald plant with elevated exposure to uranium primarily via inhalation exhibited decreases in white blood cell counts, and small, though statistically significant, gender-specific alterations in systolic blood pressure at entry into the FMMP.
Hematology; hypertension; uranium
Self-rated health (SRH) and cardiorespiratory fitness (fitness) are independent risk factors for all-cause mortality. The purpose of this report is to examine the single and joint effects of these exposures on mortality risk. The study included 18,488 men who completed a health survey, clinical examination, and a maximal exercise treadmill test during 1987–2003. Cox regression analysis was used to quantify the associations of SRH and fitness with all-cause mortality. There were 262 deaths during 17 years of follow-up. There was a significant inverse trend (Ptrend < 0.05) for mortality across SRH categories after adjustment for age, examination year, body mass index, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, abnormal ECG, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Adjustment for fitness attenuated the association (P value =0.09). We also observed an inverse association between fitness and mortality after controlling for the same covariates and SRH (Ptrend = 0.006). The combined analysis of SRH and fitness showed that fit men with good or excellent SRH had a 58% lower risk of mortality than their counterparts. SRH and fitness were both associated with all-cause mortality in men. Fit men with good or excellent SRH live longer than unfit men with poor or fair SRH.
health status; men; mortality; physical fitness
We tested the hypothesis that risk of early mortality from cancers of the digestive system will be greater in men with, compared to men without, the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Participants were 33,230 men who were seen at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas and followed for 14.4 (SD=7.0) yrs. MetS was defined as having at least three of the following risk factors: abdominal obesity, fasting hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high blood pressure, or high fasting glucose level or diabetes. MetS was associated with higher mortality (HR=1.90 [95% Confidence Interval=1.42-2.55]), and there was a graded positive association for the addition of more syndrome components (p < 0.01). Adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness attenuated the risk estimates by 20 to 30%, but they remained significant following this adjustment. Evaluation of the independent contribution of each of the syndrome components revealed that both abdominal obesity (HR=1.89 [1.36-2.62]) and high glucose (HR=1.38 [1.02-1.87]) were independently associated with cancer mortality. Our results support the hypothesis that MetS is positively associated with mortality from cancers of the digestive system. Interventions which reduce abnormalities associated with the syndrome could reduce risk of premature death from these cancers.
This study examined the association between consumption of alcoholic beverages and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a cohort of men (n = 31,367). In the Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for age, year of examination, body mass index (BMI), smoking, family history of CVD, and aerobic fitness, there were no significant differences in risk of all-cause mortality across alcohol intake groups. Risk of CVD mortality was reduced 29% in quartile 1 (HR = 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.53, 0.95) and 25% in quartile 2 (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.98). The amount of alcohol consumed to achieve this risk reduction was <6 drinks/week; less than the amount currently recommended. The addition of other potential confounders and effect modifiers including blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, and psychological variables did not affect the magnitude of association. Future research is needed to validate the current public health recommendations for alcohol consumption.
Previous studies have suggested that higher levels of physical activity may lower lung cancer risk; however, few prospective studies have evaluated lung cancer mortality in relation to cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), an objective marker of recent physical activity habits.
Thirty-eight thousand men, aged 20 to 84 years without history of cancer, received a preventive medical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX, between 1974 and 2002. CRF was quantified as maximal treadmill exercise test duration and was grouped for analysis as low (lowest 20% of exercise duration), moderate (middle 40%), and high (upper 40%).
A total of 232 lung cancer deaths occurred during follow-up (mean=17 years). After adjustment for age, examination year, BMI, smoking, drinking, physical activity, and family history of cancer, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for lung cancer deaths across low, moderate and high CRF categories were: 1.0, 0.48 (0.35–0.67), and 0.43 (0.28–0.65) respectively. There was an inverse association between CRF and lung cancer mortality in former (P for trend = 0.005) and current smokers (P for trend <0.001), but not in never smokers (trend P = 0.14). Joint analysis of smoking and fitness status revealed a significant 12-fold higher risk of death in current smokers (HR: 11.9; 95% CI: 6.0–23.6) with low CRF as compared with never smokers who had high CRF.
Although the potential for some residual confounding by smoking could not be eliminated, these data suggest that CRF is inversely associated with lung cancer mortality in men. Continued study of CRF in relation to lung cancer, particularly among smokers, may further our understanding of disease etiology and reveal additional strategies for reducing its burden.
Death from lung cancer; physical activity; smoking; prevention; epidemiology