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Mutat Res. 2004 Aug 8;562(1-2):27-38.

Clastogenic effect for cigarette smoking but not areca quid chewing as measured by micronuclei in exfoliated buccal mucosal cells.

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Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, National Defense University, Nei-Hu, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


The objective of this study was to use the micronuclei from exfoliated buccal mucosal cells to investigate the clastogenic effects of areca quid chewing and cigarette smoking, as well as the interaction between the two. The study population was selected from residents of seven villages recruited for a community-cohort study. A total of 141 subjects were recruited based on the regular consumption of cigarettes and betel quid. Salient personal characteristics were collected from interview using a specially designed questionnaire. Micronuclei were scored on Feulgen/fast green-stained smear preparations of exfoliated cells obtained by scraping the surface of the buccal mucosa. There was no significant interaction between the chewing of betel nut and cigarette smoking. Heavy smoking was positively associated with MN frequency, with areca quid chewing negatively associated. A significant positive trend was demonstrated for the relationship between MN frequency and either daily cigarette consumption or cumulative smoking pack-years. By contrast, negative trends were demonstrated for the analogous relationships with areca quid chewing. These results indicate that heavy smoking, but not areca quid chewing, increases MN formation. These findings suggest that the carcinogenesis of the oral cancers induced by areca quid chewing in Taiwan may be through a pathway other than genotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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