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This systematic literature review aimed to provide an overview of the characteristics and methods used in studies applying the disability-adjusted life years (DALY) concept for infectious diseases within European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA)/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and the United Kingdom. Electronic databases and grey literature were searched for articles reporting the assessment of DALY and its components. We considered studies in which researchers performed DALY calculations using primary epidemiological data input sources. We screened 3053 studies of which 2948 were excluded and 105 studies met our inclusion criteria. Of these studies, 22 were multi-country and 83 were single-country studies, of which 46 were from the Netherlands. Food- and water-borne diseases were the most frequently studied infectious diseases. Between 2015 and 2022, the number of burden of infectious disease studies was 1.6 times higher compared to that published between 2000 and 2014. Almost all studies (97%) estimated DALYs based on the incidence- and pathogen-based approach and without social weighting functions; however, there was less methodological consensus with regards to the disability weights and life tables that were applied. The number of burden of infectious disease studies undertaken across Europe has increased over time. Development and use of guidelines will promote performing burden of infectious disease studies and facilitate comparability of the results.
The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) published evidence-based recommendations for cancer prevention focusing on body weight, physical activity, and diet. Our aim is to evaluate whether adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations could reduce endometrial cancer risk. We used data from a multicentric, Italian hospital-based case–control study (1992–2006) including 454 endometrial cancer cases and 908 age-matched controls. Adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations was measured using a score (range: 0–7) based on seven components: body mass index (BMI), physical activity and five dietary items; higher scores indicated higher adherence. Odds ratios (OR) were estimated by multiple (adjusted) conditional logistic regression models including terms for major confounders and energy intake. Adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations was inversely related to endometrial cancer risk (OR = 0·42, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0·30, 0·61 for the highest compared with the lowest score quartile), with a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing adherence. An inverse association was also observed for a score including only dietary recommendations (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96 for the highest compared with the lowest score tertile). In stratified analyses, the association was stronger among women with a normal weight, those who were older, and consequently those in post-menopause, and those with ≥ 2 children. In conclusion, high adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations has a favourable role in endometrial cancer risk, which is not fully explained by body weight.
Circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), a subgroup of the nine essential amino acids, has been associated with pancreatic cancer risk. The aim of this study is to estimate the relation between BCAA intake from diet and pancreatic cancer risk. We analysed data from a multicentric Italian case–control study, including 326 pancreatic cancer cases and 652 controls, matched to cases by study centre, sex and age. A validated FFQ was used to collect the participants’ usual diet before cancer diagnosis (or hospital admission for controls) and to compute dietary intakes of various nutrients, including BCAA. OR and the corresponding CI were computed through logistic regression models conditioned on the matching variables and adjusted for major confounding factors, including total energy intake. We found a positive association between BCAA intake and pancreatic cancer risk (OR for the third quartile = 1·88, 95 % CI = 1·08, 3·26; OR for the fourth quartile = 2·17, 95 % CI = 1·17, 4·06), with a significant trend in risk. The association persisted after excluding subjects with diabetes and family history of pancreatic cancer and across strata of selected covariates. These data support and quantify the association between dietary BCAA and pancreatic cancer, previously suggested by studies on circulating BCAA.
Apparent differences in the adoption of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet have been reported between less and more educated individuals. However, the mediating role of income has not been clarified. In this study, we aimed at quantifying the mediating effect of income on the relationship between education and the DASH score in the UK population. We analysed data on 4864 subjects aged 18 years and older collected in three waves of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–2016). The DASH score was calculated using sex-specific quintiles of DASH items. We carried out a counterfactual-based mediation analysis to decompose the total effect of education on DASH score into average direct effect and average causal mediation effect mediated by income. We found that the overall mediating effect of income on the relationship between education and the DASH score was only partial, with an estimated proportion mediated ranging between 6 and 9 %. The mediating effect was higher among females (11·6 %) and younger people (17·9 %). Further research is needed to investigate which other factors may explain the socio-economic inequality in the adoption of the DASH diet in the UK.
An adequate intake of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) is required for protein synthesis and metabolic functions, including insulin metabolism. Emerging studies found positive associations between BCAA and the risk of various diseases sharing aetiological aspects with colorectal cancer (CRC), including type 2 diabetes, obesity and pancreatic cancer. We investigated the relation between dietary BCAA and CRC using data from a multicentric Italian case–control study, including 1953 cases of CRC (of these, 442 of sigmoid colon) and 4154 hospital controls with acute, non-neoplastic diseases. A validated FFQ was used to estimate the participants’ usual diet and to assess dietary intakes of various nutrients, including energy, BCAA and Ca. OR and corresponding CI were computed by multiple logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex and other confounding factors, including total energy intake. BCAA intake was inversely related to CRC risk (OR for the highest v. the lowest quintile 0·73; 95 % CI 0·55, 0·97), but the association was attenuated after adjustment for Ca intake (OR 0·90; 95 % CI 0·65, 1·25). An inverse association with sigmoid colon cancer risk also remained after adjustment for other dietary factors, including Ca intake (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·27, 0·87). This study provides supporting evidence that higher levels of dietary BCAA intake are not associated with an increase of CRC risk, but confirms that they may be related to a reduced risk of sigmoid colon cancer.
At present, analysis of diet and bladder cancer (BC) is mostly based on the intake of individual foods. The examination of food combinations provides a scope to deal with the complexity and unpredictability of the diet and aims to overcome the limitations of the study of nutrients and foods in isolation. This article aims to demonstrate the usability of supervised data mining methods to extract the food groups related to BC. In order to derive key food groups associated with BC risk, we applied the data mining technique C5.0 with 10-fold cross-validation in the BLadder cancer Epidemiology and Nutritional Determinants study, including data from eighteen case–control and one nested case–cohort study, compromising 8320 BC cases out of 31 551 participants. Dietary data, on the eleven main food groups of the Eurocode 2 Core classification codebook, and relevant non-diet data (i.e. sex, age and smoking status) were available. Primarily, five key food groups were extracted; in order of importance, beverages (non-milk); grains and grain products; vegetables and vegetable products; fats, oils and their products; meats and meat products were associated with BC risk. Since these food groups are corresponded with previously proposed BC-related dietary factors, data mining seems to be a promising technique in the field of nutritional epidemiology and deserves further examination.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is an effective measure in the prevention and treatment of CVD. We evaluated recent trends in socio-economic differences in the DASH score in the UK population, using education, occupation and income as proxies of socio-economic position (SEP). We analysed data on 6416 subjects aged 18 years and older collected in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–2016). The DASH score was calculated using sex-specific quintiles of DASH items. Multiple linear regression and quantile regression models were used to evaluate the trend in DASH score according to SEP. The mean DASH score was 24 (sd 5). The estimated mean difference between people with no qualification and those having the highest level of education was −3·61 (95 % CI −4·00, −3·22) points. The mean difference between subjects engaged in routine occupations and those engaged in high managerial and professional occupations was −3·41 (95 % CI −3·89, −2·93) points and for those in the first fifth and last fifth of the household income distribution was −2·71 (95 % CI −3·15, −2·28) points. DASH score improved over time, and no significant differences in the trend were observed across SEP. The widest socio-economic differences emerged for consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Despite an overall increase in the DASH score, a persisting SEP gap was observed. This is an important limiting factor in reducing the high socio-economic inequality in CVD observed in the UK.
A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
The beneficial association of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) with longevity has been consistently demonstrated, but the associations of MedDiet components have not been accordingly evaluated. We performed an updated meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published up to 31 December 2017, to quantify the association of adherence to MedDiet, expressed as an index/score (MDS) and of its components with all-cause mortality. We estimated summary relative risks (SRR) and 95 % CI using random effects models. On the basis of thirty studies (225 600 deaths), SRR for the study-specific highest/lowest and per 1sd MDS increment were 0·79 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·81, Ι2=42 %, P-heterogeneity 0·02) and 0·92 (95 % CI 0·90, 0·94, Ι2 56 %, P-heterogeneity <0·01), respectively. Inversely, statistically significant associations were evident in stratified analyses by country, MDS range and publication year, with some evidence for heterogeneity across countries overall (P-heterogeneity 0·011), as well as across European countries (P=0·018). Regarding MDS components, relatively stronger and statistically significant inverse associations were highlighted for moderate/none-excessive alcohol consumption (0·86, 95 % CI 0·77, 0·97) and for above/below-the-median consumptions of fruit (0·88, 95 % CI 0·83, 0·94) and vegetables (0·94, 95 % CI 0·89, 0·98), whereas a positive association was apparent for above/below-the-median intake of meat (1·07, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·13). Our meta-analyses confirm the inverse association of MedDiet with mortality and highlight the dietary components that influence mostly this association. Our results are important for better understanding the role of MedDiet in health and proposing dietary changes to effectively increase adherence to this healthy dietary pattern.
Carbohydrate foods with high glycaemic index (GI) and load (GL) may negatively influence cancer risk. We studied the association of dietary carbohydrates, GI, GL, intake of bread and pasta with risk of bladder cancer using data from an Italian case–control study. The study included 578 men and women with histologically confirmed bladder cancer and 608 controls admitted to the same hospitals as cases for acute, non-neoplastic conditions. OR were estimated by logistic regression models after allowance for relevant confounding factors. OR of bladder cancer for the highest v. the lowest quantile of intake were 1·52 (95 % CI 0·85, 2·69) for available carbohydrates, 1·18 (95 % CI 0·83, 1·67) for GI, 1·96 (95 % CI 1·16, 3·31, Ptrend<0·01) for GL, 1·58 (95 % CI 1·09, 2·29, Ptrend=0·03) for pasta and 1·92 (95 % CI 1·28, 2·86, Ptrend<0·01) for bread. OR for regular consumption of legumes and whole-grain products were 0·78 (95 % CI 0·60, 1·00) and 0·82 (95 % CI 0·63, 1·08), respectively. No heterogeneity in risks emerged across strata of sex. This case–control study showed that bladder cancer risk was directly associated with high dietary GL and with consumption of high quantity of refined carbohydrate foods, particularly bread. These associations were apparently stronger in subjects with low vegetable consumption.
In vitro studies have shown several beneficial properties of resveratrol. Epidemiological evidence is still scarce, probably because of the difficulty in estimating resveratrol exposure accurately. The current study aimed to assess the relationships between acute and habitual dietary resveratrol and wine intake and urinary resveratrol excretion in a European population. A stratified random subsample of 475 men and women from four countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cross-sectional study, who had provided 24-h urine samples and completed a 24-h dietary recall (24-HDR) on the same day, were included. Acute and habitual dietary data were collected using standardised 24-HDR software and a validated country-specific dietary questionnaire, respectively. Phenol-Explorer was used to estimate the intake of resveratrol and other stilbenes. Urinary resveratrol was analysed using tandem MS. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between estimated dietary intakes of resveratrol and other stilbenes and consumption of wine, their main food source, were very high (r>0·9) when measured using dietary questionnaires and were slightly lower with 24-HDR (r>0·8). Partial Spearman’s correlations between urinary resveratrol excretion and intake of resveratrol, total stilbenes or wine were found to be higher when using the 24-HDR (R2partial approximately 0·6) than when using the dietary questionnaires (R2partial approximately 0·5). Moderate to high correlations between dietary resveratrol, total stilbenes and wine, and urinary resveratrol concentrations were observed. These support the earlier findings that 24-h urinary resveratrol is an effective biomarker of both resveratrol and wine intakes. These correlations also support the validity of the estimation of resveratrol intake using the dietary questionnaire and Phenol-Explorer.
Inflammation and diet have been suggested to be important risk factors for hepatocellular cancer (HCC). This Italian multicentre hospital-based case–control study conducted between 1999 and 2002 and including 185 cases with incident, histologically confirmed HCC, and 404 controls hospitalised for acute non-neoplastic diseases provided an opportunity to investigate the association between HCC and the dietary inflammatory index (DII). The DII was computed on the basis of dietary intake assessed 2 years before the date of interview by a validated sixty-three-item FFQ. Logistic regression models were used to estimate OR adjusted for age, sex, study centre, education, BMI, smoking, physical activity, serum markers of hepatitis B and C infection and energy intake. Energy adjustment for DII was performed using the residual method. Participants in the highest tertile of DII scores (i.e. with a more pro-inflammatory diet) had a higher risk for HCC (ORtertile 3 v, 1 2·43; 95 % CI 1·27, 4·68; Ptrend=0·03). When stratified by the presence or absence of hepatitis B/C infection and sex, DII was strongly associated with HCC in hepatitis B- and C-negative participants (ORtertile 3 v. 1 4·18; 95 % CI 1·53, 11·39; Ptrend=0·02) and among males (ORtertile 3 v. 1 3·60; 95 % CI 1·65, 7·87; Ptrend=0·001). These results indicate that a pro-inflammatory diet is associated with increased risk for HCC, in those without a history of hepatitis B/C infection and among males.
The relation between inflammation deriving from diet and endometrial cancer risk has not yet been investigated. In this study, we explored the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and endometrial cancer risk in an Italian case–control study. Cases comprised 454 patients with incident, histologically confirmed carcinoma of the endometrium, and controls comprised 908 subjects admitted to the same network of hospitals as cases for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic conditions. DII scores were computed on the basis of dietary intake assessed using a reproducible and valid seventy-eight-item FFQ. OR were calculated through logistic regression models conditioned on age and study centre and adjusted for recognised confounding factors, including total energy intake. Women with the most pro-inflammatory diet had a higher risk for endometrial cancer compared with women with the most anti-inflammatory diet (ORQuartile 4 v. 1 1·46; 95 % CI 1·02, 2·11; Ptrend=0·04). A pro-inflammatory diet may increase the risk for endometrial cancer.
Diet and inflammation have been suggested to be important risk factors for colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, we examined the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and the risk of CRC in a multi-centre case–control study conducted between 1992 and 1996 in Italy. The study included 1225 incident colon cancer cases, 728 incident rectal cancer cases and 4154 controls hospitalised for acute non-neoplastic diseases. The DII was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a validated seventy-eight-item FFQ that included assessment of alcohol intake. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR adjusted for age, sex, study centre, education, BMI, alcohol drinking, physical activity and family history of CRC. Energy intake was adjusted using the residual method. Subjects with higher DII scores (i.e. with a more pro-inflammatory diet) had a higher risk of CRC, with the DII being used both as a continuous variable (ORcontinuous 1·13, 95 % CI 1·09, 1·18) and as a categorical variable (ORquintile 5 v. 1 1·55, 95 % CI 1·29, 1·85; P for trend < 0·0001). Similar results were observed when the analyses were carried out separately for colon and rectal cancer cases. These results indicate that a pro-inflammatory diet is associated with an increased risk of CRC.
High intakes of fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer at several sites. Evidence has been derived mainly from case–control studies. We reviewed the relationship between consumption of vegetables and fruit and the risk of several common cancers in a network of Italian and Swiss case–control studies including over 10 000 cases of fourteen different cancers and about 17 000 controls. Data were suggestive of a protective role of vegetable intake on the risk of several common epithelial cancers. OR for the highest compared with the lowest levels of consumption ranged from 0·2 (larynx, oral cavity and pharynx) to 0·9 (prostate). Inverse associations were found for both raw and cooked vegetables, although for upper digestive tract cancers the former were somewhat stronger. Similar inverse associations were found for cruciferous vegetables. Frequent consumption of allium vegetables was also associated with reduced risk of several cancers. Fruit was a favourable correlate of the risk of several cancers, particularly of the upper digestive tract, with associations generally weaker than those reported for vegetables. A reduced risk of cancers of the digestive tract and larynx was found for high consumption of citrus fruit. Suggestive protections against several forms of cancer, mainly digestive tract cancers, were found for high consumption of apples and tomatoes. High intakes of fibres, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins were inversely related to various forms of cancer. In conclusion, data from our series of case–control studies suggested a favourable role of high intakes of fruit and vegetables in the risk of many common cancers, particularly of the digestive tract. This adds evidence to the indication that aspects of the Mediterranean diet may have a favourable impact not only on CVD, but also on several common (epithelial) cancers, particularly of the digestive tract.
Previous studies have shown that various dietary components may be implicated in the aetiology of pancreatic cancer. However, the possible relationship between diet-related inflammation and the risk of pancreatic cancer has not yet been investigated. We examined the ability of a newly developed literature-derived dietary inflammatory index (DII) to predict the risk of pancreatic cancer in a case–control study conducted in Italy between 1991 and 2008. This included 326 incident cases and 652 controls admitted to the major teaching and general hospitals for non-neoplastic diseases, frequency-matched to cases by study centre, sex and age. The DII was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a validated and reproducible seventy-eight-item FFQ. Logistic regression models were used to estimate multivariable OR adjusted for age, sex, study centre, education, BMI, smoking status, alcohol drinking and history of diabetes. Energy adjustment was performed using the residual method. Subjects with higher DII scores (i.e. representing a more pro-inflammatory diet) had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, with the DII being used as both a continuous variable (ORcontinuous 1·24, 95 % CI 1·11, 1·38) and a categorical variable (i.e. compared with the subjects in the lowest quintile of the DII, those in the second, third, fourth and fifth quintiles had, respectively, ORquintile2 v. 1 1·70, 95 % CI 1·02, 2·80; ORquintile3 v. 1 1·91, 95 % CI 1·16, 3·16; ORquintile4 v. 1 1·98, 95 % CI 1·20, 3·27; ORquintile5 v. 1 2·48, 95 % CI 1·50, 4·10; Ptrend= 0·0015). These data suggest that a pro-inflammatory diet increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Previous studies have shown that various dietary components may be implicated in the aetiology of prostate cancer, although the results remain equivocal. The possible relationship of inflammation derived from dietary exposures with prostate cancer risk has not been investigated. We examined the ability of a newly developed dietary inflammatory index (DII) to predict prostate cancer risk in a case–control study conducted in Italy between 1991 and 2002. A total of 1294 patients aged < 75 years with incident, histologically confirmed carcinoma of the prostate served as cases. A total of 1451 subjects aged < 75 years who were admitted to the same hospitals as cases for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic conditions served as controls. The DII was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a previously validated seventy-eight-item FFQ. Logistic regression models were used to estimate multivariable OR adjusted for age, study centre, years of education, social class, BMI, smoking status, family history of prostate cancer and total energy intake. Men with higher DII scores had a higher risk of prostate cancer when analysed using the DII as both continuous (OR 1·06, 95 % CI 1·00, 1·13) and categorical, i.e. compared with men in the lowest quartile of the DII, men in the third and fourth quartiles were at elevated risk (ORQuartile 3 v. 1 1·32, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·69 and ORQuartile 4 v. 1 1·33, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·76; Ptrend= 0·04). These data suggest that a pro-inflammatory diet, as indicated by the increasing DII score, is a risk factor of prostate cancer in Italian men.
To add epidemiological data on the association of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with non-fatal acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a Southern European population.
Hospital-based case–control study. Conformity to the traditional Mediterranean diet was assessed through a score (i.e. the Mediterranean diet score, MDS) based on nine dietary components (high consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruit and nuts, cereals, and fish and seafood; high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated lipids; low consumption of dairy and meat; and moderate alcohol consumption). The score ranged between 0 (lowest adherence) and 9 (highest adherence). The association of the MDS, or its components, with the risk of AMI was evaluated through multiple logistic regression models, controlling for potential confounding variables.
The study was conducted in the greater Milan area (Italy) between 1995 and 2003.
Seven hundred and sixty patients with a first episode of non-fatal AMI and 682 controls.
High consumption of vegetables and legumes were inversely associated with non-fatal AMI risk. As compared with MDS<4, the OR of non-fatal AMI were 0·85 (95 % CI 0·65, 1·12) for MDS of 4–5 and 0·55 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·75) for MDS≥6, with a trend in risk (P<0·01). Results were consistent in strata of selected risk factors and an apparently stronger association emerged for individuals with a lower BMI.
The Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with the risk of non-fatal AMI in this Southern European population.