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  • Adiposity and risks of colorectal and small intestine cancer in Chinese adults: a prospective study of 0.5 million people.

    11 December 2018

    BACKGROUND: Uncertainty remains about the associations of adiposity with intestinal cancer in China and by its anatomical subtype. METHODS: The prospective China Kadoorie Biobank recorded 3024 incident cases of colorectal (CRC) and 143 cases of small intestine (SIC) cancer during a 10-year follow-up among 509 568 participants without prior cancer at baseline. Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for specific cancers associated with adiposity. RESULTS: Overall mean body mass index (BMI) was 23.7  kg/m2. BMI was positively associated with CRC (HR per SD 1.10 [95% CI 1.06-1.14]), colon (1.13 [1.07-1.18]), and rectal (1.07 [1.02-1.13]) cancer. For waist circumference, the corresponding HRs per SD were 1.14 (1.10-1.18), 1.18 (1.13-1.24), and 1.11 (1.05-1.16), respectively. The adjusted HRs were somewhat greater in men than women. Adiposity was positively, but non-significantly, associated with SIC risk. CONCLUSIONS: Among relatively lean Chinese adults, adiposity was associated with risks of colon and rectal cancer, with the associations somewhat stronger in men than women.

  • Diabetes, plasma glucose and incidence of colorectal cancer in Chinese adults: a prospective study of 0.5 million people.

    11 December 2018

    BACKGROUND: Diabetes is associated with higher risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Uncertainty remains about the relevance of duration of diabetes and about the association of blood glucose with CRC risk among individuals without diabetes. METHODS: The prospective China Kadoorie Biobank recruited 512 713 participants in 2004-2008 from 10 diverse areas in China. After 10 years of follow-up, 3024 incident cases of CRC (1745 colon, 1716 rectal) were recorded among 510 136 participants without prior cancer at baseline. Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted HRs for CRC associated with diabetes (previously diagnosed or screen-detected) and, among those without previously diagnosed diabetes, with levels of random plasma glucose (RPG). RESULTS: Overall 5.8% of participants had diabetes at baseline. Individuals with diabetes had an adjusted HR of 1.18 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.33) for CRC, with similar risk for colon and rectal cancer (1.19 [1.01 to 1.39] vs 1.14 [0.96 to 1.35]). The HRs decreased with longer duration of diabetes (p for trend 0.03). Among those without previously diagnosed diabetes, RPG was positively associated with CRC, with adjusted HRs per 1 mmol/L higher baseline RPG of 1.04 (1.02 to 1.05) for CRC, again similar for colon and rectal cancer (1.03 [1.01to 1.05] and 1.04 [1.02 to 1.06], respectively). The associations of diabetes and RPG appeared stronger in men than in women, but the differences were non-significant (p for heterogeneity 0.3 and 0.2). DISCUSSION: Among Chinese adults, diabetes and higher blood glucose levels among those without known diabetes are associated with higher risk of CRC.

  • ERS/ATS workshop report on respiratory health effects of household air pollution.

    16 October 2018

    Exposure to household air pollution (HAP) from solid fuel combustion affects almost half of the world population. Adverse respiratory outcomes such as respiratory infections, impaired lung growth and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been linked to HAP exposure. Solid fuel smoke is a heterogeneous mixture of various gases and particulates. Cell culture and animal studies with controlled exposure conditions and genetic homogeneity provide important insights into HAP mechanisms. Impaired bacterial phagocytosis in exposed human alveolar macrophages possibly mediates several HAP-related health effects. Lung pathological findings in HAP-exposed individuals demonstrate greater small airways fibrosis and less emphysema compared with cigarette smokers. Field studies using questionnaires, air pollution monitoring and/or biomarkers are needed to better establish human risks. Some, but not all, studies suggest that improving cookstove efficiency or venting emissions may be associated with reduced respiratory symptoms, lung function decline in women and severe pneumonia in children. Current studies focus on fuel switching, stove technology replacements or upgrades and air filter devices. Several governments have initiated major programmes to accelerate the upgrade from solid fuels to clean fuels, particularly liquid petroleum gas, which provides research opportunities for the respiratory health community.