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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 May;18(5):1663-6. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1133. Epub 2009 Apr 21.

Dietary acrylamide intake and brain cancer risk.

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Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.



Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen, which is present in several heat-treated foods. In epidemiologic studies, positive associations with endometrial, ovarian, and renal cell cancer risk have been observed. The incidence of central nervous system tumors was increased upon acrylamide administration in drinking water to rats. In the current study, the association between dietary acrylamide intake and human brain cancer risk was investigated for the first time.


In 1986, 120,852 persons (ages 55-69 years) were included in the Netherlands Cohort Study on diet and cancer. At baseline, a random subcohort of 5,000 participants was randomly selected from the total cohort for a case-cohort approach. Acrylamide intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire at baseline and based on acrylamide analyses in relevant Dutch foods. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Subgroup analyses were done for microscopically verified brain cancer, astrocytic gliomas, high-grade astrocytic gliomas, and never-smokers. The acrylamide risk estimates were adjusted for possible brain cancer risk factors.


After 16.3 years of follow-up, 216 brain cancer cases were available for analysis. The multivariable-adjusted HR per 10 microg/d increment of acrylamide intake was 1.02 (95% confidence interval, 0.89-1.16). HRs were not significantly increased either when dietary acrylamide intake was analyzed as a categorical variable. Also, there was no association in the subgroups based on histology and smoking.


In this prospective cohort study, acrylamide intake was not associated with brain cancer risk.

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