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Mutat Res. 2007 Jun 15;630(1-2):14-9. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Validity of a self-administered food frequency questionnaire in the assessment of heterocyclic amine intake using 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) levels in hair.

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Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.


Several case-control studies have reported possible associations between heterocyclic amine (HCA) intake and the risk of cancer. The validity of questionnaires used to assess HCA intake has hardly been examined, however; in particular, no biomarker able to serve as an independent measure of habitual HCA intake has been established. In this study, we examined the validity of HCA intake estimated from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) using 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) level in hair as a reference method. Study subjects were 20 volunteers (7 men and 13 women) aged 25-57 years residing in Tokyo or neighboring cities in Japan. The subjects completed the FFQ, and gave 3-5g of hair twice at an interval of 1-3 months for use in establishing validity. Results showed that intakes of PhIP, MeIQ, Trp-P-1, and total HCA by the FFQ were significantly correlated with PhIP levels in hair when adjustment was made for melanin content (r=0.47, r=0.50, r=0.55, and r=0.51, respectively). The present study indicates that HCA intake estimated from this FFQ provides a reasonable ranking of individuals to allow the analysis of associations between HCA intake and risk of cancer in large-scale epidemiological studies.

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