PubMed - Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 1;170(7):873-84. Epub 2009 Aug 31.
Dietary acrylamide intake and the risk of head-neck and thyroid cancers: results from the Netherlands Cohort Study.
Schouten LJ, Hogervorst JG, Konings EJ, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA.
SourceGROW, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org
AbstractAcrylamide exposure has been related to an increased incidence of oral and thyroid tumors in animal studies. In 1986, 120,852 persons (aged 55-69 years) were included in the Netherlands Cohort Study. Dietary acrylamide intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire and was based on chemical analysis of all relevant Dutch foods. Hazard ratios were adjusted for smoking and other confounders. After 16.3 years of follow-up, there were 101, 83, 180, and 66 cases of oral cavity, oro-hypopharynx, larynx, and thyroid cancer, respectively. Average daily dietary acrylamide intake was 21.8 microg (standard deviation, 12.1). Dietary acrylamide intake was not associated with increased risk of oral cavity (hazard ratio (HR) per 10-microg intake/day = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73, 1.10), oro-hypopharynx (HR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.53, 1.03), larynx (HR = 1.05, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.21), or thyroid (HR = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.82, 1.27) cancer. For nonsmokers, hazard ratios were not increased either.
Dietary acrylamide was statistically significantly associated with increased risk of oral cavity cancer in female nonsmokers, but case numbers were small.
Dietary acrylamide intake was not positively associated with risk of head-neck and thyroid cancer, except with oral cavity cancer risk for female nonsmokers.
A negative association for males was indicated.
Acrylamide not tied to thyroid, head-neck cancers
By Joene Hendry
(Reuters Health 12/12/2009) - The chemical acrylamide, which is classified as a probable cancer-causing agent, does not appear to increase overall risk for mouth, throat, voice box, or thyroid cancers, with one possible exception, study findings hint.
Besides a possible link to an increased risk of mouth cancer among non-smoking women, Dr. Leo J. Schouten at Maastricht University, and colleagues observed no link between low to high levels of dietary acrylamide and other head-neck or thyroid cancers among 120,852 Dutch people followed for more than 16 years.
However, the small number of mouth cancer cases in the group calls for further investigation to determine "whether there is a real association or just a chance finding," Schouten noted in an email to Reuters Health.
Acrylamide is found in some starchy foods cooked at high temperatures such as French fries and potato chips, baked goods and coffee. Animal studies have indicated acrylamide may cause cancer, and in 2005 the World Health Organization called for lower levels of acrylamide in food. However, studies of any link to human cancers have produced variable results.
Using food frequency surveys obtained when participants' were 55 to 69 years old, Schouten's team estimated the men's and women's average daily acrylamide intake at 22.5 and 21.1 micrograms, respectively, they report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Coffee accounted for about 47 percent of this intake. Dutch spiced cake, cookies, French fries, and potato crisps accounted for another 15, 13, 8, and 2 percent, respectively.
Besides the noted exception among non-smoking women, there was no link between acrylamide and head/neck and thyroid cancers in analyses that allowed for age, gender, smoking status, number of cigarettes smoked, and number of years spent smoking, as well as other demographic and dietary factors.
Considering that acrylamide molecules are small, water soluble, and, have the potential to reach nearly every organ and tissue in the body, the current findings are generally "reassuring," Schouten said.
He reiterated, however, that further investigations need to confirm or refute these findings.
In the mean time, Schouten and colleagues advise limiting acrylamide intake, particularly in foods with minimal or no health benefits, such as French fries and potato crisps.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, October 1, 2009