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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Feb;10(2):143-6.

Hepatocellular carcinoma and aflatoxin exposure in Zhuqing Village, Fusui County, People's Republic of China.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cause of cancer morbidity and mortality in Asia and Africa. Epidemiological studies have found that dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and chronic infection with hepatitis B virus are two major risk factors for HCC. We have collated the incidence and mortality data of malignant tumors from 1973 to 1999 in Zhuqing Village, Fusui County, an area with very high HCC rates, and found that this cancer accounted for 64% of the total cancer incidence. Dietary intake of AFB1 was monitored for 1 week in a study group consisting of 15 males and 14 females from different households in this village. Four of 29 participants (13.8%) and 3 of 15 (20%) male participants were hepatitis B virus surface antigen positive. AFB1 was detectable in 76.7% (23 of 30) of ground corn samples (range, 0.4-128.1 ppb), 66.7% (20 of 30) of cooking peanut oil samples (range, 0.1-52.5 ppb), and 23.3% (7 of 30) of rice samples (range, 0.3-2.0 ppb) collected from each household. Mean levels of serum AFB1-albumin adducts in this group were 1.24 +/- 0.31 pmol/mg of albumin at the beginning of the study and 1.21 +/- 0.19 pmol/mg of albumin at the end of the period. Urinary AFB1 metabolites were detectable in 88.9% (24 of 27) samples (range, 0.9-3569.7 ng/24-h urine). These data provide the exposure and disease risk information for establishing intervention studies to diminish the impact of aflatoxin exposure in this high-risk population.

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