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Br J Cancer. 2005 Jan 17;92(1):176-81.

Golestan cohort study of oesophageal cancer: feasibility and first results.

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Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, North Kargar Avenue, 14114 Tehran, Iran.


To investigate the incidence of oesophageal cancer (EC) in the Golestan province of North-East Iran, we invited 1349 rural and urban inhabitants of Golestan province aged 35-80 to undergo extensive lifestyle interviews and to provide biological samples. The interview was repeated on a subset of 130 participants to assess reliability of questionnaire and medical information. Temperature at which tea was consumed was measured on two occasions by 110 subjects. Samples of rice, wheat and sorghum were tested for fumonisin contamination. An active follow-up was carried out after 6 and 12 months. A total of 1057 subjects (610 women and 447 men) participated in this feasibility study (78.4% participation rate). Cigarette smoking, opium and alcohol use were reported by 163 (13.8%), 93 (8.8%) and 39 (3.7%) subjects, respectively. Tobacco smoking was correlated with urinary cotinine (kappa = 0.74). Most questionnaire data had kappa > 0.7 in repeat measurements; tea temperature measurement was reliable (kappa = 0.71). No fumonisins were detected in the samples analysed. During the follow-up six subjects were lost (0.6%), two subjects developed EC (one dead, one alive); in all, 13 subjects died (with cause of death known for 11, 84.6%). Conducting a cohort study in Golestan is feasible with reliable information obtained for suspected risk factors; participants can be followed up for EC incidence and mortality.

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