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Open Access Research article

Higher urine 1-hydroxy pyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG) is associated with tobacco smoke exposure and drinking maté in healthy subjects from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Renato B Fagundes12*, Christian C Abnet3, Paul T Strickland4, Farin Kamangar3, Mark J Roth3, Philip R Taylor5 and Sanford M Dawsey3

Author Affiliations

1 Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Departamento de Clínica Médica, Centro de CIências da Saúde, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil

2 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Gastroenterology Post Graduate Course. Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

3 Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

4 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

5 Genetic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:139  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-139

Published: 26 May 2006

Abstract

Background

The highest rates of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in Brazil occur in Rio Grande do Sul, the most southern state, which has incidence rates of 20.4/100,000/year for men and 6.5/100,000/year for women. Exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through tobacco smoke and other sources may increase the risk of ESCC. The aims of the current study were to investigate the degree and sources of PAH exposure of the inhabitants of this region of southern Brazil.

Methods

Two hundred healthy adults (half smokers, half non smokers, half male and half female) were recruited, given a standardized questionnaire, and asked to provide a urine sample for measurement of 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG), a PAH metabolite). Urine 1-OHPG concentrations were measured using immunoaffinity chromatography and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy and urine cotinine was measured using a dipstick test. We examined factors associated with 1-OHPG concentration using Wilcoxon tests and multiple linear regression.

Results

Urine 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG) was successfully measured on 199 subjects. The median (interquartile range) of urine 1-OHPG in the 199 participants was 2.09 pmol/mL (0.51, 5.84). Tobacco smoke exposure and maté drinking were statistically significantly associated with higher urine 1-OHPG concentrations in the multivariate linear regression model.

Conclusion

Tobacco smoke and maté both contribute to high levels of benzo[a]pyrene exposure in the people of southern Brazil. This high PAH exposure may contribute to the high rates of ESCC observed in this population. The increased urine 1-OHPG concentrations associated with maté suggest that contaminants, not just thermal injury, may help explain the increased risk of ESCC previously reported for maté consumption.