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Eur J Cancer. 1993;29A(16):2305-14.

Large-scale, population-based prospective studies in Japan.

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  • National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Large scale, population-based prospective studies have increasing importance for the study of common cancers in view of the possibility of advancing the understanding of different risk factors in the initiation, promotion and progression phases during what is thought to be the long process of human carcinogenesis. The permanent registration system in Japan ("Koseki") simplifies the follow-up of registered participants of such cohorts. The population-based cohort studied by Hirayama and the cohort of the atomic bomb survivors started during the 1960s are examples of such possibilities in Japan. Rapidly changing patterns of disease and lifestyles during the last 30 years require new population-based prospective studies focusing on a different set of exposures and with increased detail of exposure assessment. We have established a new population-based prospective study, the "Koseisho" cohort, between 1990 to 1992, following a cross-sectional study, using various biomarkers in five health centre districts. The Koseisho cohort comprises approximately 170,000 people aged 40-59 or 40-69 in 12 different health centre districts. The data are linked with the mass screening program registry data every year, and the sera and buffy coats collected at the beginning of the study will be stored at -80 degrees C for at least 10 years. We intend to integrate various sources of information about health conditions for the prevention of chronic diseases in these cohort areas. Nutritional practices are one of our main interests, and repeated surveys by different methods are planned. Although all death certificates are collected through the health centres, disease registration committees were established in each district to register incident cases of both cancer and certain cardiovascular diseases. Representative population-based prospective studies in Japan are briefly reviewed and introduced.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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