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1.  Nativity and papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates among Hispanic women in California 
Cancer  2011;118(1):216-222.
Overall, the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer in Hispanic women residing in the United States (US) is similar to that of non-Hispanic white women. However, little is known as to whether rates in Hispanic women vary by nativity, which may influence exposure to important risk factors.
Nativity-specific incidence rates among Hispanic women were calculated for papillary thyroid cancer using data from the California Cancer Registry (CCR) for the period 1988–2004. For the 35% of cases for whom birthplace information was not available from the CCR, nativity was statistically imputed based on age at Social Security number issuance. Population estimates were extracted based on US Census data. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were also estimated.
In young (age <55 years) Hispanic women, the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer among US-born (10.65 per 100,000) was significantly greater than that for foreign-born (6.67 per 100,000; IRR=1.60, 95% CI: 1.44–1.77). The opposite pattern was observed in older women. The age-specific patterns showed marked differences by nativity: among foreign-born, rates increased slowly until age 70 years, whereas, among US-born, incidence rates peaked during the reproductive years. Incidence rates increased over the study period in all subgroups.
Incidence rates of papillary thyroid cancer vary by nativity and age among Hispanic women residing in California. These patterns can provide insight for future etiologic investigations of modifiable risk factors for this increasingly common and understudied cancer.
PMCID: PMC3179782  PMID: 21692062
papillary thyroid cancer; incidence rates; nativity; Hispanic women; cancer surveillance
2.  Cigarette Smoking, Passive Smoking, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk: Evidence From the California Teachers Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;174(5):563-573.
Epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown evidence of a causal relation between smoking and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. However, previous studies did not account for passive smoking exposure in the never-smoking reference group. The California Teachers Study collected information about lifetime smoking and household passive smoking exposure in 1995 and about lifetime exposure to passive smoking in 3 settings (household, workplace, and social settings) in 1997–1998. Multivariable-adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by fitting Cox proportional hazards models with follow-up through 2007. Compared with never smokers, ever smokers had a 1.11-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.94, 1.30) higher NHL risk that increased to a 1.22-fold (95% CI: 0.95, 1.57) higher risk when women with household passive smoking were excluded from the reference category. Statistically significant dose responses were observed for lifetime cumulative smoking exposure (intensity and pack-years; both P ’s for trend = 0.02) when women with household passive smoking were excluded from the reference category. Among never smokers, NHL risk increased with increasing lifetime exposure to passive smoking (relative risk = 1.51 (95% CI: 1.03, 2.22) for >40 years vs. ≤5 years of passive smoking; P for trend = 0.03), particularly for follicular lymphoma (relative risk = 2.89 (95% CI: 1.23, 6.80); P for trend = 0.01). The present study provides evidence that smoking and passive smoking may influence NHL etiology, particularly for follicular lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC3202153  PMID: 21768403
cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; smoking; tobacco smoke pollution
3.  Oral contraceptives, menopausal hormone therapy use and risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the California Teachers Study 
We examined oral contraceptive (OC) and menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) use in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Women under age 85 years participating in the California Teachers Study with no history of hematopoietic cancer were followed from 1995 through 2007. 516 of 114,131 women eligible for OC use analysis and 402 of 54,758 postmenopausal women eligible for MHT use analysis developed B-cell NHL. Multivariable adjusted and stratified Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Ever versus never OC use was marginally associated with lower B-cell NHL risk, particularly among women first using OCs before age 25 years (RR=0.72, 95%CI=0.51-0.99); yet, no duration-response effect was observed. No association was observed for ever versus never MHT use among postmenopausal women (RR=1.05, 95%CI=0.83-1.33) overall, or by formulation (estrogen alone, ET, or estrogen plus progestin, EPT). Among women with no MHT use, having bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was associated with greater B-cell NHL risk than having natural menopause (RR=3.15, 95%CI=1.62-6.13). Bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was not associated with risk among women who used ET or EPT. These results indicate that exogenous hormone use does not strongly influence B-cell NHL risk.
PMCID: PMC3258672  PMID: 20957632
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; oral contraceptives; menopausal hormonal therapy; hysterectomy; bilateral oophorectomy
4.  Lymphoid malignancies in US Asians: incidence rate differences by birthplace and acculturation 
Malignancies of the lymphoid cells, including non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs), Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and multiple myeloma (MM), occur at much lower rates in Asians than other racial/ethnic groups in the United States (US). It remains unclear whether these deficits are explained by genetic or environmental factors. To better understand environmental contributions, we examined incidence patterns of lymphoid malignancies among populations characterized by ethnicity, birthplace, and residential neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnic enclave status.
We obtained data regarding all Asian patients diagnosed with lymphoid malignancies between 1988 and 2004 from the California Cancer Registry and neighborhood characteristics from US Census data.
While incidence rates of most lymphoid malignancies were lower among Asian than white populations, only follicular lymphoma (FL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), and nodular sclerosis (NS) HL rates were statistically significantly lower among foreign-born than US-born Asians, with incidence rate ratios ranging from 0.34 to 0.87. Rates of CLL/SLL and NS HL were also lower among Asian women living in ethnic enclaves or lower-SES neighborhoods than those living elsewhere. Conclusions: These observations support strong roles of environmental factors in the causation of FL, CLL/SLL, and NS HL.
Studying specific lymphoid malignancies in US Asians may provide valuable insight towards understanding their environmental causes.
PMCID: PMC3111874  PMID: 21493873
lymphoid malignancies; Asians; immigration; environmental causes
5.  Papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates vary significantly by birthplace in Asian American women 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(3):479-485.
To investigate how birthplace influences the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer among Asian American women.
Birthplace- and ethnic-specific age-adjusted and age-specific incidence rates were calculated using data from the California Cancer Registry for the period 1988–2004. Birthplace was statistically imputed for 30% of cases using a validated imputation method based on age at Social Security number issuance. Population estimates were obtained from the US Census. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for foreign-born vs. US-born women.
Age-adjusted incidence rates of papillary thyroid cancer among Filipina (13.7 per 100,000) and Vietnamese (12.7) women were more than double those of Japanese women (6.2). US-born Chinese (IRR=0.48, 95% CI: 0.40–0.59) and Filipina women (IRR=0.74, 95% CI: 0.58–0.96) had significantly higher rates than those who were foreign-born; the opposite was observed for Japanese women (IRR=1.55, 95% CI: 1.17–2.08). The age-specific patterns among all foreign-born Asian women and US-born Japanese women showed a slow steady increase in incidence until age 70. However, among US-born Asian women (except Japanese), substantially elevated incidence rates during the reproductive and menopausal years were evident.
Ethnic- and birthplace-variation in papillary thyroid cancer incidence can provide insight into the etiology of this increasingly common and understudied cancer.
PMCID: PMC3291661  PMID: 21207130
papillary thyroid cancer; incidence rates; birthplace; Asian American women; cancer surveillance
6.  Dietary phytocompounds and risk of lymphoid malignancies in the California Teachers Study cohort 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2010;22(2):237-249.
We examined whether dietary intake of isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, antioxidants, or specific foods rich in these compounds is associated with reduced risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), or Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in a large, prospective cohort of women.
Between 1995-1996 and December 31, 2007, among 110,215 eligible members of the California Teachers Study cohort, 536 women developed incident B-cell NHL, 104 developed MM, and 34 developed HL. Cox proportional hazards regression, with age as the time-scale, was used to estimate adjusted rate ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of lymphoid malignancies.
Weak inverse associations with risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were observed for isothiocyanates (RR for ≥12.1 vs. <2.7 mcM/day=0.67, 95% CI: 0.43-1.05) and an antioxidant index measuring hydroxyl radical absorbance capacity (RR for ≥2.2 vs. <0.9 μM Trolox equiv/g/day=0.68, 95% CI: 0.42-1.10; ptrend=0.08). Risk of other NHL subtypes, overall B-cell NHL, MM, or HL was not generally associated with dietary intake of isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, antioxidants, or major food sources of these compounds.
Isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, and antioxidant compounds are not associated with risk of most B-cell malignancies, but some phytocompounds may decrease risk of selected subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3074494  PMID: 21107674
lymphoma; diet; isothiocyanates; antioxidants; cohort studies
7.  Alcohol Consumption Over Time and Risk of Lymphoid Malignancies in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;172(12):1373-1383.
Several previous studies found inverse associations between alcohol consumption and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. However, most studies were retrospective, and few distinguished former drinkers or infrequent drinkers from consistent nondrinkers. Therefore, the authors investigated whether history of alcohol drinking affected risks of NHL and multiple myeloma among 102,721 eligible women in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort study in which 496 women were diagnosed with B-cell NHL and 101 were diagnosed with multiple myeloma between 1995–1996 and December 31, 2007. Incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Risk of all types of B-cell NHL combined or multiple myeloma was not associated with self-reported past consumption of alcohol, beer, wine, or liquor at ages 18–22 years, at ages 30–35 years, or during the year before baseline. NHL subtypes were inconsistently associated with alcohol intake. However, women who were former alcohol drinkers at baseline were at elevated risk of overall B-cell NHL (rate ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.97) and follicular lymphoma (rate ratio = 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 3.28). The higher risk among former drinkers emphasizes the importance of classifying both current and past alcohol consumption and suggests that factors related to quitting drinking, rather than alcohol itself, may increase B-cell NHL risk.
PMCID: PMC3105275  PMID: 20952595
alcohol drinking; cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; multiple myeloma
8.  Parents’ Ages at Birth and Risk of Adult-onset Hematologic Malignancies Among Female Teachers in California 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;171(12):1262-1269.
Although advanced parental age at one's birth has been associated with increased risk of breast and prostate cancers, few studies have examined its effect on adult-onset sporadic hematologic malignancies. The authors examined the association of parents’ ages at women's births with risk of hematologic malignancies among 110,999 eligible women aged 22–84 years recruited into the prospective California Teachers Study. Between 1995 and 2007, 819 women without a family history of hematologic malignancies were diagnosed with incident lymphoma, leukemia (primarily acute myeloid leukemia), or multiple myeloma. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models provided estimates of relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Paternal age was positively associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after adjustment for race and birth order (relative risk for age ≥40 vs. <25 years = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 2.13; P-trend = 0.01). Further adjustment for maternal age did not materially alter the association. By contrast, the elevated non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk associated with advanced maternal age (≥40 years) became null when paternal age was included in the statistical model. No association was observed for acute myeloid leukemia or multiple myeloma. Advanced paternal age may play a role in non-Hodgkin lymphoma etiology. Potential etiologic mechanisms include de novo gene mutations, aberrant paternal gene imprinting, or telomere/telomerase biology.
PMCID: PMC2915497  PMID: 20507900
cohort studies; hematologic neoplasms; leukemia, myeloid, acute; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; maternal age; paternal age
9.  “Racial and social class gradients in life expectancy in contemporary California” 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2010;70(9):1373-1380.
Life expectancy, or the estimated average age of death, is among the most basic measures of a population's health. However, monitoring differences in life expectancy among sociodemographically defined populations has been challenging, at least in the United States (US), because death certification does not include collection of markers of socioeconomic status (SES). In order to understand how SES and race/ethnicity independently and jointly affected overall health in a contemporary US population, we assigned a small area-based measure of SES to all 689,036 deaths occurring in California during a three-year period (1999-2001) overlapping the most recent US census. Residence at death was geocoded to the smallest census area available (block group) and assigned to a quintile of a multifactorial SES index. We constructed life tables using mortality rates calculated by age, sex, race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES quintile, and produced corresponding life expectancy estimates. We found a 19.6 (±0.6) year gap in life expectancy between the sociodemographic groups with the longest life expectancy (highest SES quintile of Asian females; 84.9 years) and the shortest (lowest SES quintile of African-American males; 65.3 years). A positive SES gradient in life expectancy was observed among whites and African-Americans but not Hispanics or Asians. Age-specific mortality disparities varied among groups. Race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES had substantial and independent influences on life expectancy, underscoring the importance of monitoring health outcomes simultaneously by these factors. African-American males living in the poorest 20% of California neighborhoods had life expectancy comparable to that reported for males living in developing countries. Neighborhood SES represents a readily available metric for ongoing surveillance of health disparities in the US.
PMCID: PMC2849870  PMID: 20171001
racial disparities; social class disparities; life expectancy; California; population-based; USA; socioeconomic status (SES)
10.  Disparities in Breast Cancer Survival Among Asian Women by Ethnicity and Immigrant Status: A Population-Based Study 
American journal of public health  2010;100(5):861-869.
We investigated heterogeneity in ethnic composition and immigrant status among US Asians as an explanation for disparities in breast cancer survival.
We enhanced data from the California Cancer Registry and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program through linkage and imputation to examine the effect of immigrant status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and ethnic enclave on mortality among Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1988 to 2005 and followed through 2007.
US-born women had similar mortality rates in all Asian ethnic groups except the Vietnamese, who had lower mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]=0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.1, 0.9). Except for Japanese women, all foreign-born women had higher mortality than did US-born Japanese, the reference group. HRs ranged from 1.4 (95% CI=1.2, 1.7) among Koreans to 1.8 (95% CI=1.5, 2.2) among South Asians and Vietnamese. Little of this variation was explained by differences in disease characteristics.
Survival after breast cancer is poorer among foreign- than US-born Asians. Research on underlying factors is needed, along with increased awareness and targeted cancer control.
PMCID: PMC2853623  PMID: 20299648
11.  Hidden Breast Cancer Disparities in Asian Women: Disaggregating Incidence Rates by Ethnicity and Migrant Status 
American journal of public health  2010;100(Suppl 1):S125-S131.
We estimated trends in breast cancer incidence rates for specific Asian populations in California to determine if disparities exist by immigrant status and age.
To calculate rates by ethnicity and immigrant status, we obtained data for 1998 through 2004 cancer diagnoses from the California Cancer Registry and imputed immigrant status from Social Security Numbers for the 26% of cases with missing birthplace information. Population estimates were obtained from the 1990 and 2000 US Censuses.
Breast cancer rates were higher among US- than among foreign-born Chinese (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.72, 1.96) and Filipina women (IRR = 1.32; 95% CI=1.20, 1.44), but similar between US- and foreign-born Japanese women. US-born Chinese and Filipina women who were younger than 55 years had higher rates than did White women of the same age. Rates increased over time in most groups, as high as 4% per year among foreign-born Korean and US-born Filipina women. From 2000–2004, the rate among US-born Filipina women exceeded that of White women.
These findings challenge the notion that breast cancer rates are uniformly low across Asians and therefore suggest a need for increased awareness, targeted cancer control, and research to better understand underlying factors.
PMCID: PMC2837454  PMID: 20147696
12.  Disparities in survival after Hodgkin lymphoma: a population-based study 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2009;20(10):1881-1892.
Survival after Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is generally favorable, but may vary by patient demographic characteristics. The authors examined HL survival according to race/ethnicity and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), determined from residential census block group at diagnosis. For 12,492 classical HL patients ≥15 years diagnosed in California during 1988-2006 and followed through 2007, we determined risk of overall and HL-specific death using Cox proportional hazards regression; analyses were stratified by age and Ann Arbor stage. Irrespective of disease stage, patients with lower neighborhood SES had worse overall and HL-specific survival than patients with higher SES. Patients with the lowest quintile of neighborhood SES had a 64% (patients aged 15-44 years) and 36% (≥45 years) increased risk of HL-death compared to patients with the highest quintile of SES; SES results were similar for overall survival. Even after adjustment for neighborhood SES, blacks and Hispanics had increased risks of HL-death 74% and 43% (15-44 years) and 40% and 17% (≥45 years), respectively, higher than white patients. The racial/ethnic differences in survival were evident for all stages of disease. These data provide evidence for substantial, and probably remediable, racial/ethnic and neighborhood SES disparities in HL outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2888633  PMID: 19557531
Hodgkin disease; survival; mortality; social class; census
13.  Body Size, Recreational Physical Activity, and B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk Among Women in the California Teachers Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;170(10):1231-1240.
Nutritional status and physical activity are known to alter immune function, which may be relevant to lymphomagenesis. The authors examined body size measurements and recreational physical activity in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the prospective California Teachers Study. Between 1995 and 2007, 574 women were diagnosed with incident B-cell NHL among 121,216 eligible women aged 22–84 years at cohort entry. Multivariable-adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by fitting Cox proportional hazards models for all B-cell NHL combined and for the 3 most common subtypes: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Height was positively associated with risk of all B-cell NHLs (for >1.70 vs. 1.61–1.65 m, relative risk = 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.16, 1.96) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (relative risk = 1.93, 95% confidence interval: 1.09, 3.41). Weight and body mass index at age 18 years were positive predictors of B-cell NHL risk overall. These findings indicate that greater height, which may reflect genetics, early life immune function, infectious exposures, nutrition, or growth hormone levels, may play a role in NHL etiology. Adiposity at age 18 years may be more relevant to NHL etiology than that in later life.
PMCID: PMC2781760  PMID: 19822569
body mass index; body size; cohort studies; exercise; hip; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; waist-hip ratio
14.  Uncovering disparities in survival after non-small-cell lung cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic populations in California 
Asians may have better survival after non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) than non-Asians. However, it is unknown whether survival varies among the heterogeneous U.S. Asian/Pacific Islander (API) populations. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify survival differences among APIs with NSCLC. Differences in overall and disease-specific survival were analyzed in the California Cancer Registry among 16,577 API patients diagnosed with incident NSCLC between 1988 and 2007. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models with separate baseline hazards by disease stage. Despite better overall and disease-specific survival among APIs compared with non-Hispanic Whites, differences were evident across API populations. Among women, Japanese (overall survival HR=1.16, 95% CI=1.06–1.27) and APIs other than those in the six largest ethnic groups (“other APIs”; HR=1.19, 95% CI=1.07–1.33) had significantly poorer overall and disease-specific survival than Chinese. By contrast, South Asian women had significantly better survival than Chinese (HR=0.79, 95% CI=0.63–0.97). Among men, Japanese (HR=1.15, 95% CI=1.07–1.24), Vietnamese (HR=1.07, 95% CI=1.00–1.16), and other APIs (HR=1.18, 95% CI=1.08–1.28) had significantly poorer overall and disease-specific survival than Chinese. Other factors independently associated with poorer survival were lower neighborhood SES, involvement with a non-university-teaching hospital, unmarried status, older age, and earlier year of diagnosis. APIs have significant ethnic differences in NSCLC survival that may be related to disparate lifestyles, biology, and especially health care access or use. To reduce the nationwide burden of lung cancer mortality, it is critical to identify and ameliorate hidden survival disparities such as those among APIs.
PMCID: PMC2764550  PMID: 19622719
non-small-cell lung cancer; survival; Asian Americans; Pacific Islanders; ethnic groups
15.  Reproductive Factors and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk in the California Teachers Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8135.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a malignancy etiologically linked to immunomodulatory exposures and disorders. Endogenous female sex hormones may modify immune function and influence NHL risk. Few studies have examined associations between reproductive factors, which can serve as surrogates for such hormonal exposures, and NHL risk by subtype.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Women in the California Teachers Study cohort provided detailed data in 1995–1996 on reproductive history. Follow-up through 2007 identified 574 women with incident B-cell NHL. Hazard rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models to assess associations between reproductive factors and all B-cell NHL combined, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, follicular lymphomas, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias/small lymphocytic lymphomas. Pregnancy was marginally associated with lower risk of B-cell NHL (RR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.68–1.04). Much of the reduction in risk was observed after one full-term pregnancy relative to nulligravid women (RR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.54–1.06; P for trend <0.01), particularly for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.13), but not among women who had only incomplete pregnancies. Age at first full-term pregnancy was marginally inversely associated with B-cell NHL risk overall (P for trend = 0.08) and for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.056). Breast feeding was not associated with B-cell NHL risk overall or by subtype.
Full-term pregnancy and early age at first full-term pregnancy account for most of the observed reduction in B-cell NHL risk associated with gravidity. Pregnancy-related hormonal exposures, including prolonged and high-level exposure to progesterone during a full-term pregnancy may inhibit development of B-cell NHL.
PMCID: PMC2780313  PMID: 19956586
16.  The burden of liver cancer in Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, 1990 through 2004 
Cancer  2007;109(10):2100-2108.
No previous U.S. study has examined time trends in the incidence rate of liver cancer in the high-risk Asian/Pacific Islander population. We evaluated liver cancer incidence trends in Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese males and females in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area of California between 1990 and 2004.
Populations at risk were estimated using the cohort component demographic method. Annual percentage changes (APCs) in age-adjusted incidence rates of primary liver cancer among Asians/Pacific Islanders in the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were calculated using joinpoint regression analysis.
The incidence rate of liver cancer between 1990 and 2004 did not change significantly in Asian/Pacific Islander males or females overall. However, the incidence rate declined, albeit statistically non-significantly, in Chinese males (APC =−1.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) =−3.4%, 0.3%], Japanese males (APC = −4.9%, 95% CI =−10.7%, 1.2%), and Japanese females (APC =−3.6%, 95% CI =−8.9%, 2.0%). Incidence rates remained consistently high for Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino males and females. Trends in the incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma were comparable to those for liver cancer. While disparities in liver cancer incidence between Asians/Pacific Islanders and other racial/ethnic groups diminished between 1990–1994 and 2000–2004, those among Asian subgroups increased.
Liver cancer continues to affect Asian/Pacific Islander Americans disproportionately, with consistently high incidence rates in most subgroups. Culturally targeted prevention methods are needed to reduce the high rates of liver cancer in this growing population in the U.S.
PMCID: PMC2777532  PMID: 17385214
Asian Americans; epidemiology; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cancer; surveillance
17.  Racial/ethnic variation in EBV-positive classical Hodgkin lymphoma in California populations 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in the tumor cells of some but not all Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients, and evidence indicates that EBV-positive and –negative HL are distinct entities. Racial/ethnic variation in EBV-positive HL in international comparisons suggests etiologic roles for environmental and genetic factors, but these studies used clinical series and evaluated EBV presence by differing protocols. Therefore, we evaluated EBV presence in the tumors of a large (n=1,032), racially and sociodemographically diverse series of California incident classical HL cases with uniform pathology re-review and EBV detection methods. Tumor EBV-positivity was associated with Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) but not black race/ethnicity, irrespective of demographic and clinical factors. Complex race-specific associations were observed between EBV-positive HL and age, sex, histology, stage, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), and birth place. In Hispanics, EBV-positive HL was associated not only with young and older age, male sex, and mixed cellularity histology, but also with foreign birth and lower SES in females, suggesting immune function responses to correlates of early childhood experience and later environmental exposures, respectively, as well as of pregnancy. For APIs, a lack of association with birth place may reflect the higher SES of API than Hispanic immigrants. In blacks, EBV-positive HL was associated with later-stage disease, consistent with racial/ethnic variation in certain cytokine polymorphisms. The racial/ethnic variation in our findings suggests that EBV-positive HL results from an intricate interplay of early- and later-life environmental, hormonal, and genetic factors leading to depressed immune function and poorly controlled EBV infection.
PMCID: PMC2775059  PMID: 18646185
Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; racial/ethnic variation; epidemiology
18.  Lung cancer incidence in never-smokers 
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. While smoking remains the predominant cause of lung cancer, lung cancer in never-smokers is an increasingly prominent public health issue. Data on this topic, particularly lung cancer incidence rates in never-smokers, however, are limited.
We review the existing literature on lung cancer incidence and mortality rates among never-smokers and present new data regarding rates in never-smokers from large, population-based cohorts: 1) Nurses’ Health Study, 2) Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 3) California Teachers Study, 4) Multiethnic Cohort Study, 5) Swedish Lung Cancer Register in the Uppsala/Örebro region, and the 6) First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.
Truncated age-adjusted incidence rates of lung cancer among never-smokers aged 40 to 79 years in these six cohorts ranged from 14.4 to 20.8 per 100,000 person-years in women and 4.8 to 13.7 per 100,000 person-years in men, supporting earlier observations that women are more likely than men to have non-smoking-associated lung cancer. The distinct biology of lung cancer in never-smokers is apparent in differential responses to epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors and an increased prevalence of adenocarcinoma histology in never-smokers.
Lung cancer in never-smokers is an important public health issue needing further exploration of its incidence patterns, etiology, and biology.
PMCID: PMC2764546  PMID: 17290054
19.  Incomplete pregnancy is not associated with breast cancer risk: the California Teachers Study 
Contraception  2008;77(6):391-396.
Early studies of incomplete pregnancy and development of breast cancer suggested that induced abortion might increase risk. Several large prospective studies, which eliminate recall bias, did not detect associations but this relationship continues to be debated.
Study design
To further inform this important question, we examined invasive breast cancer as it relates to incomplete pregnancy, including total number of induced abortions, age at first induced abortion and total number of miscarriages among women participating in the ongoing California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort. Incomplete pregnancy was self-reported on the CTS baseline questionnaire in 1995–96. Incident breast cancers were ascertained in 3,324 women through 2004 via linkage with the California Cancer Registry.
Using Cox multivariable regression, we found no statistically significant association between any measure of incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk among nulliparous or parous women.
These results provide strong evidence that there is no relationship between incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2473863  PMID: 18477486
breast cancer; incomplete pregnancy
20.  Dietary patterns and risk of ovarian cancer in the California Teachers Study cohort 
Nutrition and cancer  2008;60(3):285-291.
Previous studies have examined the association between individual foods or nutrients, but not overall diet, and ovarian cancer risk. To account for the clustering of foods in the diet, we investigated the association between dietary patterns and risk of ovarian cancer in the prospective California Teachers Study cohort. Of 97,292 eligible women who completed the baseline dietary assessment in 1995–1996, 311 women developed epithelial ovarian cancer on or before December 31, 2004. Based on principal components analysis, five major dietary patterns were identified and termed “plant-based,” “high-protein/high-fat,” “high-carbohydrate,” “ethnic,” and “salad-and-wine.” Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to estimate associations between these dietary patterns and risk of incident ovarian cancer. Most of the dietary patterns were not significantly associated with ovarian cancer risk. However, women who followed a plant-based diet had higher risk; comparing those in the top quintile of plant-based food intake with those in the lowest quintile, the relative risk of ovarian cancer was 1.65 (95% confidence interval: 1.07–2.54; Ptrend=0.03). Associations with the five dietary patterns did not vary by known ovarian cancer risk factors or other behavioral or sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, our results show no convincing associations between dietary patterns and ovarian cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2365491  PMID: 18444162
21.  Diet and Risk of Ovarian Cancer in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
American journal of epidemiology  2007;165(7):802-813.
Dietary phytochemical compounds, including isoflavones and isothiocyanates, may inhibit cancer development but have not yet been examined in prospective epidemiologic studies of ovarian cancer. The authors have investigated the association between consumption of these and other nutrients and ovarian cancer risk in a prospective cohort study. Among 97,275 eligible women in the California Teachers Study cohort who completed the baseline dietary assessment in 1995–1996, 280 women developed invasive or borderline ovarian cancer by December 31, 2003. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, with age as the timescale, was used to estimate relative risks and 95% confidence intervals; all statistical tests were two sided. Intake of isoflavones was associated with lower risk of ovarian cancer. Compared with the risk for women who consumed less than 1 mg of total isoflavones per day, the relative risk of ovarian cancer associated with consumption of more than 3 mg/day was 0.56 (95% confidence interval: 0.33, 0.96). Intake of isothiocyanates or foods high in isothiocyanates was not associated with ovarian cancer risk, nor was intake of macronutrients, antioxidant vitamins, or other micronutrients. Although dietary consumption of isoflavones may be associated with decreased ovarian cancer risk, most dietary factors are unlikely to play a major role in ovarian cancer development.
PMCID: PMC2093945  PMID: 17210953
antioxidants; cohort studies; diet; isoflavones; isothiocyanates; nutrition; ovarian neoplasms; women's health
22.  Wine and other alcohol consumption and risk of ovarian cancer in the California Teachers Study cohort 
Cancer Causes & Control  2007;18(1):91-103.
Whether alcohol consumption influences ovarian cancer risk is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the association between alcohol intake at various ages and risk of ovarian cancer.
Among 90,371 eligible members of the California Teachers Study cohort who completed a baseline alcohol assessment in 1995–1996, 253 women were diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer by the end of 2003. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Consumption of total alcohol, beer, or liquor in the year prior to baseline, at ages 30–35 years, or at ages 18–22 years was not associated with risk of ovarian cancer. Consumption of at least one glass per day of wine, compared to no wine, in the year before baseline was associated with increased risk of developing ovarian cancer: RR = 1.57 (95% CI 1.11–2.22), Ptrend = 0.01. The association with wine intake at baseline was particularly strong among peri-/post-menopausal women who used estrogen-only hormone therapy and women of high socioeconomic status.
Alcohol intake does not appear to affect ovarian cancer risk. Constituents of wine other than alcohol or, more likely, unmeasured determinants of wine drinking were associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC1764867  PMID: 17186425
Ovarian cancer; Alcoholic beverages; Cohort studies; Women’s health

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