Cured meat, vegetables, and bean-curd foods in relation to childhood acute leukemia risk: A population based case-control study
1 Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
2 Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
3 Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
4 Department of Family Medicine and Graduate Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
5 Center of Excellence for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
6 Department of Nursing, Yuh-Ing Junior College of Health Care and Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
7 School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
8 Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA
9 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
10 Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
BMC Cancer 2009, 9:15 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-15Published: 13 January 2009
Consumption of cured/smoked meat and fish leads to the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the acidic stomach. This study investigated whether consumed cured/smoked meat and fish, the major dietary resource for exposure to nitrites and nitrosamines, is associated with childhood acute leukemia.
A population-based case-control study of Han Chinese between 2 and 20 years old was conducted in southern Taiwan. 145 acute leukemia cases and 370 age- and sex-matched controls were recruited between 1997 and 2005. Dietary data were obtained from a questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression models were used in data analyses.
Consumption of cured/smoked meat and fish more than once a week was associated with an increased risk of acute leukemia (OR = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.15–2.64). Conversely, higher intake of vegetables (OR = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.37–0.83) and bean-curd (OR = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.34–0.89) was associated with a reduced risk. No statistically significant association was observed between leukemia risk and the consumption of pickled vegetables, fruits, and tea.
Dietary exposure to cured/smoked meat and fish may be associated with leukemia risk through their contents of nitrites and nitrosamines among children and adolescents, and intake of vegetables and soy-bean curd may be protective.