PURPOSE: Acrylamide was classified as 'probably carcinogenic' to humans in 1994 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In 2002, public health concern increased when acrylamide was identified in starchy, plant-based foods, processed at high temperatures. The purpose of this study was to identify which food groups and lifestyle variables were determinants of hemoglobin adduct concentrations of acrylamide (HbAA) and glycidamide (HbGA) in 801 non-smoking postmenopausal women from eight countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.
METHODS: Biomarkers of internal exposure were measured in red blood cells (collected at baseline) by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS) . In this cross-sectional analysis, four dependent variables were evaluated: HbAA, HbGA, sum of total adducts (HbAA + HbGA), and their ratio (HbGA/HbAA). Simple and multiple regression analyses were used to identify determinants of the four outcome variables. All dependent variables (except HbGA/HbAA) and all independent variables were log-transformed (log2) to improve normality. Median (25th-75th percentile) HbAA and HbGA adduct levels were 41.3 (32.8-53.1) pmol/g Hb and 34.2 (25.4-46.9) pmol/g Hb, respectively.
RESULTS: The main food group determinants of HbAA, HbGA, and HbAA + HbGA were biscuits, crackers, and dry cakes. Alcohol intake and body mass index were identified as the principal determinants of HbGA/HbAA. The total percent variation in HbAA, HbGA, HbAA + HbGA, and HbGA/HbAA explained in this study was 30, 26, 29, and 13 %, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Dietary and lifestyle factors explain a moderate proportion of acrylamide adduct variation in non-smoking postmenopausal women from the EPIC cohort.