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To investigate relationships between mortality and circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxyergocalciferol (25(OH)D2).
Case–cohort study within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS). We measured 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 in archived dried blood spots by LC–MS/MS. Cox regression was used to estimate mortality hazard ratios (HR), with adjustment for confounders.
The MCCS included 29 206 participants, who at recruitment in 1990–1994 were aged 40–69 years, had dried blood spots collected and no history of cancer. For the present study we selected participants who died by 31 December 2007 (n 2410) and a random sample (sub-cohort, n 2996).
The HR per 25 nmol/l increment in concentration of 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 were 0·86 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·96; P=0·007) and 0·85 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·95; P=0·003), respectively. Of 5108 participants, sixty-three (1·2 %) had detectable 25(OH)D2; their mean 25(OH)D concentration was 11·9 (95 % CI 7·3, 16·6) nmol/l higher (P<0·001). The HR for detectable 25(OH)D2 was 1·80 (95 % CI 1·09, 2·97; P=0·023); for those with detectable 25(OH)D2, the HR per 25 nmol/l increment in 25(OH)D was 1·06 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·29; P interaction=0·02). HR were similar for participants who reported being in good, very good or excellent health four years after recruitment.
Total 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 concentrations were inversely associated with mortality. The finding that the inverse association for 25(OH)D was restricted to those with no detectable 25(OH)D2 requires confirmation in populations with higher exposure to ergocalciferol.
An evolving hypothesis postulates that melanomas may arise through ‘nevus-associated’ and ‘chronic sun exposure’ pathways. We explored this hypothesis by examining associations between nevus-associated loci and melanoma risk across strata of body site and histological subtype. We genotyped 1028 invasive case patients and 1469 controls for variants in methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), phospholipase A2, group VI (PLA2G6), and Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), and compared allelic frequencies globally and by anatomical site and histological subtype of melanoma. Odds-ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using classical and multinomial logistic regression models. Among controls, MTAP rs10757257, PLA2G6 rs132985 and IRF4 rs12203592 were the variants most significantly associated with number of nevi. In adjusted models, a significant association was found between MTAP rs10757257 and overall melanoma risk (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.14–1.53), with no evidence of heterogeneity across sites (Phomogeneity =.52). In contrast, MTAP rs10757257 was associated with superficial spreading/nodular melanoma (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.15– 1.57), but not with lentigo maligna melanoma (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.46–1.35) (Phomogeneity =.06), the subtype associated with chronic sun exposure. Melanoma was significantly inversely associated with rs12203592 in children (OR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.16–0.77) and adolescents (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.42–0.91), but not in adults (Phomogeneity =.0008). Our results suggest that the relationship between MTAP and melanoma is subtype-specific, and that the association between IRF4 and melanoma is more evident for cases with a younger age at onset. These findings lend some support to the ‘divergent pathways’ hypothesis and may provide at least one candidate gene underlying this model. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings and improve our understanding of these relationships.
Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is a major health issue in Queensland, Australia, which has the world's highest incidence. Recent molecular and epidemiologic studies suggest that CMM arises through multiple etiological pathways involving gene–environment interactions. Understanding the potential mechanisms leading to CMM requires larger studies than those previously conducted. This article describes the design and baseline characteristics of Q-MEGA, the Queensland Study of Melanoma: Environmental and Genetic Associations, which followed up 4 population-based samples of CMM patients in Queensland, including children, adolescents, men aged over 50, and a large sample of adult cases and their families, including twins. Q-MEGA aims to investigate the roles of genetic and environmental factors, and their interaction, in the etiology of melanoma. Three thousand, four hundred and seventy-one participants took part in the follow-up study and were administered a computer-assisted telephone interview in 2002–2005. Updated data on environmental and phenotypic risk factors, and 2777 blood samples were collected from interviewed participants as well as a subset of relatives. This study provides a large and well-described population-based sample of CMM cases with follow-up data. Characteristics of the cases and repeatability of sun exposure and phenotype measures between the baseline and the follow-up surveys, from 6 to 17 years later, are also described.
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