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Carcinogenesis. 1999 Sep;20(9):1877-81.

NAT2 slow acetylator genotype is associated with increased risk of lung cancer among non-smoking Chinese women in Singapore.

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Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore, 117597.


Among non-smokers, the factors resulting in lung carcinogenesis are poorly understood. We conducted a hospital-based case-control analysis of 294 Chinese women, of whom 217 were non-smokers, to evaluate the role of polymorphic N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) as a susceptibility factor for the disease. The proportion of slow acetylator genotypes among non-smoking cases (n = 92) and controls (n = 125) was 38.0 and 24.0%, respectively [odds ratio (OR) 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-3.7]. No effect of NAT2 genotype was seen among smokers. Among non-smokers, the effect was marked for adenocarcinomas (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.0). As NAT2 activity is known to modify risk of arylamine-induced carcinogenesis, our results suggest that exposure to arylamines in the environment may play a role in risk of lung cancer among non-smokers.

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