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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Oct;12(10):1006-11.

Smoking exposure as a risk factor for prevalent and recurrent colorectal adenomas.

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  • 1Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo New York 14263, USA.


Colorectal adenomatous polyps are considered to be the precursor lesion of colorectal cancer (1-3). Greater understanding of the association between smoking and adenoma development enable better detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. This study was conducted in men and women, ages 40-80, participating in a randomized trial testing the effects of wheat bran fiber supplement on adenoma recurrence. First, we investigated smoking exposure (status, cigarettes/day, and years of smoking) and colorectal adenoma characteristics (location, histology, size, and multiplicity) at baseline colonoscopy (n = 1429). Second, we evaluated smoking exposure and adenoma recurrence (n = 1304). The prevalence of distal versus proximal adenomas was greater for < or =30 cigarettes/day [odds ratio (OR), 1.48; 95% CI, 1.02-2.16] and 15 to <25 years of smoking (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.23-3.09) compared with never smokers. Tubular versus villous histology prevalence was increased for > or =30 cigarettes and > or =35 years of smoking (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.21-2.49 and OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.24-2.45, respectively) compared with never-smokers. Years of smoking increased prevalence of multiple versus single adenomas, whereas cigarettes/day and years of smoking were associated with large adenomas (> or =1 cm) prevalence as compared with small lesions (< or =0.5 cm). Greater than 35 years of smoking was significantly associated with an increased risk of adenoma recurrence (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.01-1.98). These results suggest that the association between smoking and adenoma prevalence varies by the characteristic of the lesion. Furthermore, the association between smoking and adenoma recurrence is modest and was only significant after a long duration of exposure. Additional investigations that characterize the genetic changes in specific subgroups of prevalent and recurrent adenomas associated with smoking exposure are needed.

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