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Plasma folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Biosciences, Clinical chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research.
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2005 (English)In: International Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0020-7136, E-ISSN 1097-0215, Vol. 113, no 5, 819-824 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of folate metabolism in cancer development is a topic of much current interest, with maintenance of adequate folate status tending to show a protective effect. Aberrant methylation, primarily hypermethylation of certain genes including tumor suppressors, has been implicated in prostate cancer development. Folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine are essential for methyl group metabolism and thus also for DNA methylation. We related plasma levels of these factors to prostate cancer risk in a prospective study of 254 case subjects and 514 matched control subjects. Increasing plasma levels of folate and vitamin B12 were statistically significantly associated with increased prostate cancer risk, with an odds ratio of 1.60 (95% CI = 1.03-2.49; p(trend) = 0.02) for folate and 2.63 (95% CI = 1.61-4.29; p(trend) < 0.001) for vitamin B12 for highest vs. lowest quartile. Increasing plasma homocysteine levels were associated with a reduced risk of borderline significance (OR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.43-1.04; p(trend) = 0.08). After adjustment for the other 2 plasma variables, body mass index and smoking, a statistically significant increased risk remained only for vitamin B12 (OR = 2.96; 95% CI = 1.58-5.55; p(trend) = 0.001). Adjusted OR for folate and homocysteine were 1.30 (95% CI = 0.74-2.24; p(trend) = 0.17) and 0.91 (95% CI = 0.51-1.58; p(trend) = 0.60), respectively. Our results suggest that factors contributing to folate status are not protective against prostate cancer. On the contrary, vitamin B12, associated with an up to 3-fold increase in risk, and possibly also folate, may even stimulate prostate cancer development. These findings are novel and should be explored further in future studies. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 113, no 5, 819-824 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, Aged, Bone Neoplasms/blood/etiology/secondary, Case-Control Studies, Folic Acid/*blood, Homocysteine/*blood, Humans, Lymphatic Metastasis, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Prostatic Neoplasms/blood/*epidemiology/*etiology, Risk Factors, Sweden/epidemiology, Vitamin B 12/*blood
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14262DOI: 10.1002/ijc.20646PubMedID: 15499634OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-14262DiVA: diva2:153933
Available from: 2007-11-23 Created: 2007-11-23 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Folate in cancer and cardiovascular disease: prospective studies from the population-based northern Sweden health and disease study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Folate in cancer and cardiovascular disease: prospective studies from the population-based northern Sweden health and disease study
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Folate, a B-vitamin found primarily in fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, and other B-vitamins involved in folate metabolism are believed to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Maintaining an adequate folate status ensures availability of methyl groups for DNA synthesis and for all methylation reactions in the body, and prevents the accumulation of homocysteine, a sulphur-containing amino acid that has been linked to cardiovascular disease. The aim of this thesis was to relate factors involved in folate metabolism to the risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), prostate cancer (PCa), stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: These were nested case-referent studies, with 226 CRC, 254 PCa, 396 stroke (334 ischemic and 62 hemorrhagic), and 571 AMI cases, and double, matched referents from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study.

CRC RESULTS: A bell-shaped association was observed between plasma folate concentrations and the risk of CRC [multivariate odds ratio (OR) for the middle versus lowest quintile, 2.00 (95% CI 1.13-3.56)]. Homocysteine was not associated with CRC risk. A reduced risk was observed for the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism [OR for TT versus CC, 0.41 (95% CI 0.19-0.85), Ptrend=0.062] that was independent of plasma folate status. Prediagnostic plasma folate concentrations were higher in cases with promoter hypermethylation in the p16 and/or hMLH1 tumor suppressor genes in CRC tissue compared to cases without promoter hypermethylation in these genes (P=0.025).

PCa RESULTS: Increasing plasma levels of folate and vitamin B12 were associated with increased risk of PCa [OR for the highest versus lowest quartile, 1.60 (95% CI 1.03-2.49), Ptrend=0.02 for folate, and 2.63 (95% CI 1.61-4.29), Ptrend<0.001 for vitamin B12]. Increasing plasma homocysteine levels were associated with a reduced risk of borderline significance. In multivariate analyses, the risk estimate remained statistically significant only for vitamin B12.

STROKE RESULTS: Plasma folate concentrations were associated with the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in an inverse linear manner after adjustment for conventional risk factors including hypertension [multivariate OR for the highest versus lowest quartile, 0.21 (95% CI 0.06-0.71), Ptrend=0.008]. Risk estimates were attenuated by the inclusion of homocysteine in the model [OR 0.34 (95% CI 0.08-1.40), Ptrend=0.088]. Similar results were obtained for folate intake. Neither plasma folate levels nor folate intake demonstrated a clear association with the risk of ischemic stroke, and neither plasma nor dietary vitamin B12 was associated with the risk of either type of stroke.

AMI RESULTS: Plasma folate concentrations demonstrated an inverse association with risk of AMI that was independent of other risk factors, including homocysteine [multivariate OR for the highest versus lowest quintile, 0.56 (95% CI 0.34-0.90), Ptrend=0.080]. For vitamin B12, no clear risk relationships were apparent. None of the risk estimates for dietary intake of folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, or vitamin B2 were statistically significant, although the results for folate and vitamin B12 intake were in line with those for the plasma variables.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of these population-based, prospective studies suggest that although a high folate status may be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, the relationship with cancer risk seems to be more complicated. The possibility of a detrimental component to the role of folate and vitamin B12 in carcinogenesis may have implications in the ongoing debate concerning mandatory folate fortification of foods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Medicinsk biovetenskap, 2006. 91 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1049
National Category
Clinical Laboratory Medicine
Research subject
Medical Biochemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-850 (URN)91-7264-159-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-22, Hörsal Betula, 6M, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2006-09-04 Created: 2006-09-04 Last updated: 2012-02-03Bibliographically approved

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