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1.  Nativity and papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates among Hispanic women in California 
Cancer  2011;118(1):216-222.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26223
PMCID: PMC3179782  PMID: 21692062
papillary thyroid cancer; incidence rates; nativity; Hispanic women; cancer surveillance
2.  Sunlight exposure, vitamin D, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Nurses’ Health Study 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(12):1731-1741.
Purpose
Case-control studies suggest increased sun exposure reduces non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. Evidence from prospective cohort studies, however, is limited and inconsistent. We evaluated the association between ambient ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure and NHL in a nationwide cohort of women, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS).
Methods
Between 1976 and 2006, we identified 1064 incident NHL cases among 115,482 women in the prospective NHS. Exposures assessed included average annual UV-B flux based on residence at various times during life, vitamin D intake, and predicted plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. We estimated incidence rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of all NHL and histologic subtypes using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results
NHL risk was increased for women residing in areas of high ambient UV radiation (UV-B flux >113 R-B count × 10−4) compared to those with lower exposure (<113), with positive linear trends at all time points. The multivariable-adjusted RR for high UV area at age 15 was 1.21 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.47; p-trend <0.01). There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity by subtype, although power was limited for subtype analyses. We observed no association between vitamin D measures and risk of NHL overall or by subtype.
Conclusions
Our findings do not support the hypothesis of a protective effect of UV radiation exposure on NHL risk. We found no association between vitamin D and NHL risk.
doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9849-x
PMCID: PMC3240999  PMID: 21987081
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; sunlight; ultraviolet radiation; vitamin D; epidemiology
3.  Nutrients and Genetic Variation Involved in One-Carbon Metabolism and Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk: A Population-based Case-Control Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;174(7):816-827.
Nutritional and genetic determinants of the one-carbon metabolism pathway have been related to risk of malignant lymphomas, but little is known about their associations with Hodgkin lymphoma risk specifically. The authors examined nutrient intake (folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, methionine) and multivitamin use among 497 Hodgkin lymphoma patients and 638 population-based controls (Massachusetts and Connecticut, 1997–2000), and genetic variation (MTHFR 677C>T, MTHFR 1298A>C, MTR 2756A>G, SHMT1 1420C>T, TYMS 1494del6) and gene-diet interactions in a subset. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate multivariable odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Hodgkin lymphoma risk was not associated with total nutrient intake or intake from food alone (excluding supplements). Multivitamin use (odds ratio (OR) = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.96), total vitamin B6 (ORquartile 4 vs. 1 = 1.62) (Ptrend = 0.03), and total vitamin B12 (ORquartile 4 vs. 1 = 1.75) (Ptrend = 0.02) intakes were positively associated with risk of Epstein-Barr virus-negative, but not -positive, disease. The 5 genetic variants were not significantly associated with Hodgkin lymphoma risk; no significant gene-diet interactions were observed after Bonferroni correction. Study findings do not support a strong role for nutrients and genetic variation in the one-carbon metabolism pathway in susceptibility to Hodgkin lymphoma. Associations between diet and risk of Epstein-Barr virus-negative disease require confirmation in other populations.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr190
PMCID: PMC3203380  PMID: 21810727
case-control studies; diet; folic acid; Hodgkin disease; vitamins
4.  Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution and Cardiorespiratory Disease in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
Rationale: Several studies have linked long-term exposure to particulate air pollution with increased cardiopulmonary mortality; only two have also examined incident circulatory disease.
Objectives: To examine associations of individualized long-term exposures to particulate and gaseous air pollution with incident myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
Methods: We estimated long-term residential air pollution exposure for more than 100,000 participants in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort of female public school professionals. We linked geocoded residential addresses with inverse distance-weighted monthly pollutant surfaces for two measures of particulate matter and for several gaseous pollutants. We examined associations between exposure to these pollutants and risks of incident myocardial infarction and stroke, and of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, using Cox proportional hazards models.
Measurements and Main Results: We found elevated hazard ratios linking long-term exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), scaled to an increment of 10 μg/m3 with mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) (1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–1.41) and, particularly among postmenopausal women, incident stroke (1.19; 95% CI, 1.02–1.38). Long-term exposure to particulate matter less than 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) was associated with elevated risks for IHD mortality (1.06; 95% CI, 0.99–1.14) and incident stroke (1.06; 95% CI, 1.00–1.13), while exposure to nitrogen oxides was associated with elevated risks for IHD and all cardiovascular mortality.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence linking long-term exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 with increased risks of incident stroke as well as IHD mortality; exposure to nitrogen oxides was also related to death from cardiovascular diseases.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201012-2082OC
PMCID: PMC3208653  PMID: 21700913
particulate matter; cardiovascular diseases; air pollutants; epidemiology
5.  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.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr127
PMCID: PMC3202153  PMID: 21768403
cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; smoking; tobacco smoke pollution
6.  Lymphoid malignancies in US Asians: incidence rate differences by birthplace and acculturation 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Impact
Studying specific lymphoid malignancies in US Asians may provide valuable insight towards understanding their environmental causes.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0038
PMCID: PMC3111874  PMID: 21493873
lymphoid malignancies; Asians; immigration; environmental causes
7.  Survival following non-small cell lung cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander, Latina, and non-Hispanic White women who have never smoked 
BACKGROUND
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among US Asian/Pacific Islander (API) and Latina women, despite low smoking prevalence. This study examined survival patterns following non-small cell lung cancer in a population-based sample of lung cancer cases from the San Francisco Bay Area Lung Cancer Study (SFBALCS).
METHODS
Women diagnosed with lung cancer from 1998–2003 and 2005–2008 and identified through the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were telephone-screened for eligibility for the SFBALCS. The screener data were linked to the cancer registry data to determine follow-up. This analysis included 187 non-Hispanic White, 23 US-born Latina, 32 foreign-born Latina, 30 US-born API, and 190 foreign-born API never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer and followed through 2008.
RESULTS
All-cause survival was poorer among APIs (hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.7 (1.0–2.8) among US-born APIs; 1.2 (0.9–1.5) among foreign-born APIs), and Latinas (HR (95% CI) = 2.1 (1.2–3.6) among US-born Latinas; 1.4 (0.9–2.3) among foreign-born Latinas), relative to non-Hispanic Whites. These survival differences were not explained by differences in selected sociodemographic or clinical factors.
CONCLUSIONS
Further research should focus on factors such as cultural behaviors, access to or attitudes toward health care, and genetic variations, as possible explanations for these striking racial/ethnic differences.
IMPACT
Latina and API female never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer were up to two-times more likely to die than non-Hispanic Whites, highlighting the need for additional research to identify the underlying reasons for the disparities, as well as heightened clinical awareness.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0965
PMCID: PMC3070404  PMID: 21239685
lung cancer survival; Asian; Latina; Hispanic; never smokers; nativity
8.  Papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates vary significantly by birthplace in Asian American women 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(3):479-485.
Objective
To investigate how birthplace influences the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer among Asian American women.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
Ethnic- and birthplace-variation in papillary thyroid cancer incidence can provide insight into the etiology of this increasingly common and understudied cancer.
doi:10.1007/s10552-010-9720-5
PMCID: PMC3291661  PMID: 21207130
papillary thyroid cancer; incidence rates; birthplace; Asian American women; cancer surveillance
9.  Age-specific effects of hormone therapy use on overall mortality and ischemic heart disease mortality among women in the California Teachers Study 
Menopause (New York, N.y.)  2011;18(3):253-261.
Objective
Although the Women’s Health Initiative trial (WHI) suggested that menopausal hormone therapy (HT) does not reduce coronary heart disease mortality overall, subsequent results have suggested that there may be a benefit in younger women. The California Teachers Cohort Study (CTS) questionnaire and mortality data was used to examine whether age modified the association between HT and the relative risk of overall mortality and ischemic heart disease (IHD) deaths.
Methods
Participants from the CTS were 71,237 postmenopausal women (mean age = 63, range 36 to 94 years) followed prospectively for mortality and other outcomes from 1995–1996 through 2004.
Results
Age at baseline was a much more important modifier of HT effects than age at start of therapy. Risks for all-cause mortality (n=8,399) were lower for younger current HT users at baseline than for never users (for women ≤60 years: HR=0.54, 95% CI=0.46–0.62). These risk reductions greatly diminished, in a roughly linear fashion, with increasing baseline age (for women 85–94 years HR=0.94, 95% CI=0.81–1.10 for all-cause mortality). Similar results were seen for IHD deaths (n=1,464). No additional significant modifying effects of age at first use, duration of use, or formulation were apparent.
Conclusions
These results provide evidence that reduced risks of mortality associated with HT use are observed among younger users but not for older postmenopausal women even those starting therapy close to their time of menopause.
doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3181f0839a
PMCID: PMC3253313  PMID: 20881652
Overall mortality; heart disease; menopausal hormone therapy; risk; survival; age
10.  GWAS of Follicular Lymphoma Reveals Allelic Heterogeneity at 6p21.32 and Suggests Shared Genetic Susceptibility with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(4):e1001378.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) represents a diverse group of hematological malignancies, of which follicular lymphoma (FL) is a prevalent subtype. A previous genome-wide association study has established a marker, rs10484561 in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II region on 6p21.32 associated with increased FL risk. Here, in a three-stage genome-wide association study, starting with a genome-wide scan of 379 FL cases and 791 controls followed by validation in 1,049 cases and 5,790 controls, we identified a second independent FL–associated locus on 6p21.32, rs2647012 (ORcombined = 0.64, Pcombined = 2×10−21) located 962 bp away from rs10484561 (r2<0.1 in controls). After mutual adjustment, the associations at the two SNPs remained genome-wide significant (rs2647012:ORadjusted = 0.70, Padjusted = 4×10−12; rs10484561:ORadjusted = 1.64, Padjusted = 5×10−15). Haplotype and coalescence analyses indicated that rs2647012 arose on an evolutionarily distinct haplotype from that of rs10484561 and tags a novel allele with an opposite (protective) effect on FL risk. Moreover, in a follow-up analysis of the top 6 FL–associated SNPs in 4,449 cases of other NHL subtypes, rs10484561 was associated with risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ORcombined = 1.36, Pcombined = 1.4×10−7). Our results reveal the presence of allelic heterogeneity within the HLA class II region influencing FL susceptibility and indicate a possible shared genetic etiology with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These findings suggest that the HLA class II region plays a complex yet important role in NHL.
Author Summary
Earlier studies have established a marker rs10484561, in the HLA class II region on 6p21.32, associated with increased follicular lymphoma (FL) risk. Here, in a three-stage genome-wide association study of 1,428 FL cases and 6,581 controls, we identified a second independent FL–associated marker on 6p21.32, rs2647012, located 962 bp away from rs10484561. The associations at two SNPs remained genome-wide significant after mutual adjustment. Haplotype and coalescence analyses indicated that rs2647012 arose on an evolutionarily distinct lineage from that of rs10484561 and tags a novel allele with an opposite, protective effect on FL risk. Moreover, in an analysis of the top 6 FL–associated SNPs in 4,449 cases of other NHL subtypes, rs10484561 was associated with risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Our results reveal the presence of allelic heterogeneity at 6p21.32 in FL risk and suggest a shared genetic etiology with the common diffuse large B-cell lymphoma subtype.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001378
PMCID: PMC3080853  PMID: 21533074
11.  Geographical and Ethnic Distribution of the HBV C/D Recombinant on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18708.
Two forms of hepatitis B virus (HBV) C/D recombinant have been identified in western China, but little is known about their geographical and ethnic distributions, and particularly the clinical significance and specific mutations in the pre-core region. To address these questions, a total of 624 chronic HBV carriers from four ethnic populations representing five provinces in western China were enrolled in this study. Genotypes were firstly determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism, and then confirmed by full or partial genome nucleotide sequencing. The distribution of HBV genotypes was as follows: HBV/B: 40 (6.4%); HBV/C: 221 (35.4%); HBV/D: 39 (6.3%); HBV/CD: 324 (51.9%). In the 324 HBV C/D recombinant infections, 244 (75.3%) were infected with the “CD1” and 80 (24.7%) were infected with the “CD2.” The distribution of HBV genotypes exhibited distinct patterns in different regions and ethnic populations. Geographically, the C/D recombinant was the most prevalent HBV strain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Ethnically, the C/D recombinant had a higher prevalence in Tibetan patients than in other populations. Clinically, patients with HBV/CD1 showed significantly lower levels of serum total bilirubin than patients with HBV/C2. The prevalence of HBeAg was comparable between patients with HBV/CD1 and HBV/C2 (63.3% vs 50.0%, P = 0.118) whether patients were taken together or stratified by age into three groups (65.6% vs 58.8% in <30 years, P = 0.758; 61.9% vs 48.0% in 30–50 years, P = 0.244; 64.3% vs 33.3%, P = 0.336). Virologically HBV/CD1 had a significantly lower frequency of G1896A than HBV/C2. In conclusion, the HBV C/D recombinant is restricted to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in western China and is found predominantly in Tibetans. The predominance of the premature pre-core stop mutation G1896A in patients with the HBV C/D recombinant may account for the higher prevalence of HBeAg in these patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018708
PMCID: PMC3073994  PMID: 21494570

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