Abstract Title:

A prospective study on dietary acrylamide intake and the risk for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Oct ;19(10):2503-15. Epub 2010 Aug 6. PMID: 20693310

Abstract Author(s):

Kathryn M Wilson, Lorelei A Mucci, Bernard A Rosner, Walter C Willett

Article Affiliation:

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [email protected]


BACKGROUND: Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen formed during cooking of many common foods. Epidemiologic studies on acrylamide and breast cancer risk have been null; however, positive associations with ovarian and endometrial cancers have been reported. We studied acrylamide intake and risk for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers in a prospective cohort study.

METHODS: We assessed acrylamide intake among 88,672 women in the Nurses' Health Study using food frequency questionnaires administered every 4 years. Between 1980 and 2006, we identified 6,301 cases of invasive breast cancer, 484 cases of invasive endometrial adenocarcinoma, and 416 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer. We used Cox proportional hazards models to study the association between acrylamide and cancer risk.

RESULTS: We found no association between acrylamide intake and breast cancer overall or according to estrogen and progesterone receptor status. We found an increased risk for endometrial cancer among high acrylamide consumers (adjusted relative risk for highest versus lowest quintile = 1.41; 95% CI, 1.01-1.97; P for trend = 0.03). We observed a nonsignificant suggestion of increased risk for ovarian cancer overall (relative risk, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.88-1.77; P trend = 0.12), with a significantly increased risk for serous tumors (relative risk, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.99-2.52; P trend = 0.04). Associations did not differ by smoking status.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed no association between acrylamide and breast cancer. Risk for endometrial cancer and possibly ovarian cancer was greater among high acrylamide consumers.

IMPACT: This is the second prospective study to report positive associations with endometrial and ovarian cancers. These associations should be further evaluated to inform public health policy.

Study Type : Human Study

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