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To prospectively assess the associations between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish intakes and risk of stroke in the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain).
Fish intake was estimated from a validated dietary questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the association between the intakes of lean fish, fatty fish and total fish and stroke risk. Models were run separately for men and women.
Five Spanish regions (Asturias, San Sebastian, Navarra, Granada and Murcia).
Individuals (n 41 020; 15 490 men and 25 530 women) aged 20–69 years, recruited from 1992 to 1996 and followed-up until December 2008 (December 2006 in the case of Asturias). Only participants with definite incident stroke were considered as cases.
During a mean follow-up of 13·8 years, 674 strokes were identified and subsequently validated by record linkage with hospital discharge databases, primary-care records and regional mortality registries, comprising 531 ischaemic, seventy-nine haemorrhagic, forty-two subarachnoid and twenty-two unspecific strokes. After multiple adjustments, no significant associations were observed between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish consumption and the risk of stroke in men or women. In men, results revealed a non-significant trend towards an inverse association between lean fish (hazard ratio=0·84; 95 % CI 0·55, 1·29, Ptrend=0·06) and total fish consumption (hazard ratio=0·77; 95 % CI 0·51, 1·16, Ptrend=0·06) and risk of total stroke.
In the EPIC-Spain cohort, no association was found between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish consumption and risk of stroke.
Different lifestyle patterns across Europe may influence plasma concentrations of B-vitamins and one-carbon metabolites and their relation to chronic disease. Comparison of published data on one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions is difficult due to differences in sampling procedures and analytical methods between studies. The present study aimed, to compare plasma concentrations of one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions with one laboratory performing all biochemical analyses. We performed the present study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort among 5446 presumptively healthy individuals. Quantile regression was used to compare sex-specific median concentrations between Northern (Denmark and Sweden), Central (France, Germany, The Netherlands and United Kingdom) and Southern (Greece, Spain and Italy) European regions. The lowest folate concentrations were observed in Northern Europe (men, 10·4 nmol/l; women, 10·7 nmol/l) and highest concentrations in Central Europe. Cobalamin concentrations were slightly higher in Northern Europe (men, 330 pmol/l; women, 352 pmol/l) compared with Central and Southern Europe, but did not show a clear north–south gradient. Vitamin B2 concentrations were highest in Northern Europe (men, 22·2 nmol/l; women, 26·0 nmol/l) and decreased towards Southern Europe (Ptrend< 0·001). Vitamin B6 concentrations were highest in Central Europe in men (77·3 nmol/l) and highest in the North among women (70·4 nmol/l), with decreasing concentrations towards Southern Europe in women (Ptrend< 0·001). In men, concentrations of serine, glycine and sarcosine increased from the north to south. In women, sarcosine increased from Northern to Southern Europe. These findings may provide relevant information for the study of regional differences of chronic disease incidence in association with lifestyle.
Olive oil is well known for its cardioprotective properties; however, epidemiological data showing that olive oil consumption reduces incident CHD events are still limited. Therefore, we studied the association between olive oil and CHD in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Spanish cohort study. The analysis included 40 142 participants (38 % male), free of CHD events at baseline, recruited from five EPIC-Spain centres from 1992 to 1996 and followed up until 2004. Baseline dietary and lifestyle information was collected using interview-administered questionnaires. Cox proportional regression models were used to assess the relationship between validated incident CHD events and olive oil intake (energy-adjusted quartiles and each 10 g/d per 8368 kJ (2000 kcal) increment), while adjusting for potential confounders. During a 10·4-year follow-up, 587 (79 % male) CHD events were recorded. Olive oil intake was negatively associated with CHD risk after excluding dietary mis-reporters (hazard ratio (HR) 0·93; 95 % CI 0·87, 1·00 for each 10 g/d per 8368 kJ (2000 kcal) and HR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·59, 1·03 for upper v. lower quartile). The inverse association between olive oil intake (per 10 g/d per 8368 kJ (2000 kcal)) and CHD was more pronounced in never smokers (11 % reduced CHD risk (P = 0·048)), in never/low alcohol drinkers (25 % reduced CHD risk (P < 0·001)) and in virgin olive oil consumers (14 % reduced CHD risk (P = 0·072)). In conclusion, olive oil consumption was related to a reduced risk of incident CHD events. This emphasises the need to conserve the traditional culinary use of olive oil within the Mediterranean diet to reduce the CHD burden.
Epidemiological studies show that adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MD) increases longevity; however, few studies are restricted to Mediterranean populations or explore the effect of a MD pattern that directly incorporates olive oil. Therefore the relationship between adherence to the MD and mortality was studied within the the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain). The EPIC-Spain analysis included 40 622 participants (37·7 % males) aged 29–69 years who were recruited from five Spanish regions in 1992–1996. During a mean follow-up of 13·4 years, 1855 deaths were documented: 913 from cancer, 399 from CVD, 425 from other causes and 118 from unknown causes of death. Risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality was assessed according to the level of adherence to a relative MD (rMED) score, measured using an 18-unit scale incorporating nine selected dietary components. A high compared with a low rMED score was associated with a significant reduction in mortality from all causes (hazard ratio (HR) 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91), from CVD (HR 0·66; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·89), but not from overall cancer (HR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·75, 1·12). A 2-unit increase in rMED score was associated with a 6 % (P < 0·001) decreased risk of all-cause mortality. A high olive oil intake and moderate alcohol consumption contributed most to this association. In this Spanish cohort, following an olive oil-rich MD was related to a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, and reduced the risk of mortality from CVD. These results support the important role that the MD pattern has on reducing mortality in Mediterranean countries.
To compare the average out-of-home (OH) consumption of foods and beverages, as well as energy intake, among populations from 10 European countries and to describe the characteristics of substantial OH eaters, as defined for the purpose of the present study, in comparison to other individuals.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary data were collected through single 24-hour dietary recalls, in which the place of consumption was recorded. For the present study, substantial OH eaters were defined as those who consumed more than 25% of total daily energy intake at locations other than the household premises. Mean dietary intakes and the proportion of substantial OH eaters are presented by food group and country. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds of being a substantial OH eater in comparison to not being one, using mutually adjusted possible non-dietary determinants.
Ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
The subjects were 34 270 individuals, 12 537 men and 21 733 women, aged 35–74 years.
The fraction of energy intake during OH eating was generally higher in northern European countries than in the southern ones. Among the food and beverage groups, those selectively consumed outside the home were coffee/tea/waters and sweets and, to a lesser extent, cereals, meats, added lipids and vegetables. Substantial OH eating was positively associated with energy intake and inversely associated with age and physical activity. Substantial OH eating was less common among the less educated compared with the more educated, and more common during weekdays in central and north Europe and during the weekend in south Europe.
Eating outside the home was associated with sedentary lifestyle and increased energy intake; it was more common among the young and concerned in particular coffee/tea/waters and sweets.
Although the fatty acid fractions provide similar metabolizable energy, the type of dietary fat consumed could be relevant to the development of obesity.
To investigate the relationship between body mass index (BMI), obesity and the consumption of different types of fat and olive oil in a Mediterranean country with high prevalence of obesity, and high intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and olive oil.
The study was carried out in Spain among 23 289 women and 14 374 men, aged 29–69 years, who were participants of a large European prospective cohort.
Information on usual food intake was collected by interviewers by means of a dietary history questionnaire. The association between obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg m2), dietary fat, other dietary patterns and other non-dietary factors were tested using multilinear regression analysis. The ratio of reported energy intake to energy requirement was used as an estimation of dietary underreporting.
The association between fatty acid fractions intake (saturated fatty acids (SFA) in women, and MUFA and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in both sexes) and BMI was very weak, accounting for less than 1% of variance. All dietary and non-dietary variables accounted for 21% of variance in the measurement of BMI in women and only 6.7% of variance in men. Estimated underreporting of energy intake was 17.5% in obese women and 5.5% in obese men.
The association between consumption of specific types of dietary fat, olive oil and obesity in Spain is not very important. However, because of the cross-sectional design and some level of underreporting of energy intake observed in overweight subjects and overreporting in underweight subjects, systematic bias cannot be completely discarded.
To conduct a comprehensive assessment of dietary intakes of nitrites and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
Subjects and setting
A study was conducted within the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) to assess the intake and food sources of these compounds in Spanish adults. The study included 41 446 health volunteers, aged 29–69 years, from Northern and Southern regions. Usual food intake was estimated by in-person interviews using a computerised dietary questionnaire.
The estimated geometric mean was 0.994 mg day−1 for nitrites and 0.114 μg day−1 for NDMA. For both compounds a positive trend in consumption with increasing energy intake was observed. Dietary NDMA was related to age and sex after energy adjustment, while nitrite consumption increased with higher intakes of vitamin C (P < 0.001). The food groups that contributed most to intakes were meat products, cereals, vegetables and fruits for nitrites, and processed meat, beer, cheese and broiled fish for NDMA. Current and past smokers, who had high levels of NDMA from tobacco exposure, were also identified as the highest consumers of dietary NDMA. Furthermore, smokers had low intakes of vitamin C (an inhibitor of endogenous nitrosation).
Intake levels of NDMA and nitrites in a Mediterranean cohort are currently relatively lower than those previously reported, although processed meat, beer and cured cheese still are the most important contributors to NDMA intake.
There is increasing evidence for a significant effect of processed meat (PM) intake on cancer risk. However, refined knowledge on how components of this heterogeneous food group are associated with cancer risk is still missing. Here, actual data on the intake of PM subcategories is given; within a food-based approach we considered preservation methods, cooking methods and nutrient content for stratification, in order to address most of the aetiologically relevant hypotheses.
Design and setting
Standardised computerised 24-hour diet recall interviews were collected within the framework of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a prospective cohort study in 27 centres across 10 European countries.
Subjects were 22 924 women and 13 031 men aged 35–74 years.
Except for the so-called ‘health-conscious’ cohort in the UK, energy-adjusted total PM intake ranged between 11.1 and 47.9 g day−1 in women and 18.8 and 88.5 g day−1 in men. Ham, salami-type sausages and heated sausages contributed most to the overall PM intake. The intake of cured (addition of nitrate/nitrite) PM was highest in the German, Dutch and northern European EPIC centres, with up to 68.8 g day−1 in men. The same was true for smoked PM (up to 51.8 g day−1). However, due to the different manufacturing practice, the highest average intake of NaNO2 through PM consumption was found for the Spanish centres (5.4 mg day−1 in men) as compared with German and British centres. Spanish centres also showed the highest intake of NaCl-rich types of PM; most cholesterol- and iron-rich PM was consumed in central and northern European centres. Possibly hazardous cooking methods were more often used for PM preparation in central and northern European centres.
We applied a food-based categorisation of PM that addresses aetiologically relevant mechanisms for cancer development and found distinct differences in dietary intake of these categories of PM across European cohorts. This predisposes EPIC to further investigate the role of PM in cancer aetiology.
Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are nutrient dense foods whose intake has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They are regularly consumed in European diets either as whole, in spreads or from hidden sources (e.g. commercial products). However, little is known about their intake profiles or differences in consumption between European countries or geographic regions. The objective of this study was to analyse the population mean intake and average portion sizes in subjects reporting intake of nuts and seeds consumed as whole, derived from hidden sources or from spreads. Data was obtained from standardised 24-hour dietary recalls collected from 36 994 subjects in 10 different countries that are part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Overall, for nuts and seeds consumed as whole, the percentage of subjects reporting intake on the day of the recall was: tree nuts = 4·4%, peanuts = 2·3% and seeds = 1·3%. The data show a clear northern (Sweden: mean intake = 0·15 g/d, average portion size = 15·1 g/d) to southern (Spain: mean intake = 2·99 g/d, average portion size = 34·7 g/d) European gradient of whole tree nut intake. The three most popular tree nuts were walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, respectively. In general, tree nuts were more widely consumed than peanuts or seeds. In subjects reporting intake, men consumed a significantly higher average portion size of tree nuts (28·5 v. 23·1 g/d, P<0·01) and peanuts (46·1 v. 35·1 g/d, P<0·01) per day than women. These data may be useful in devising research initiatives and health policy strategies based on the intake of this food group.
A cross-sectional study was conducted within the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition to assess the principal food sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, β-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin in an adult Spanish population. The study included 41 446 healthy volunteers (25 812 women and 15 634 men), aged 29–69 years, from three Spanish regions in the north (Asturias, Navarra and Guipúzcoa) and two in the south (Murcia and Granada). Usual food intake was estimated by personal interview through a computerized version of a dietary history questionnaire. Foods that provided at least two-thirds of the studied nutrients were: fruits (mainly oranges) (51 %) and fruiting vegetables (mainly tomato and sweet pepper) (20 %) for vitamin C; vegetable oils (sunflower and olive) (40 %), non-citrus fruits (10 %), and nuts and seeds (8 %) for vitamin E; root vegetables (carrots) (82 %) for α-carotene; green leafy (28 %), root (24 %) and fruiting vegetables (22 %) for β-carotene; fruiting vegetables (fresh tomato) (72 %) for lycopene; green leafy vegetables (64 %) for lutein; citrus fruits (68 %) for β-cryptoxanthin; citrus fruits (43 %) and green leafy vegetables (20 %) for zeaxanthin. In conclusion, the main food sources of nutrients with redox properties have been identified in a Mediterranean country. This could provide an insight into the interpretation of epidemiological studies investigating the role of diet in health and disease.
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