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Br J Med Med Res. 2014 Apr 21;4(12):2388-2417.

Dietary Risk Factors for Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A Confirmatory Case-Control Study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
2
Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
4
Department of Internal Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
5
Department of Pathology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

This study's primary purpose was to determine whether earlier findings suggesting an association between sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of humans and specific dietary components could be replicated. The a priori hypotheses were that consumption of (i) foods likely to contain organ tissue and (ii) raw/rare meat are associated with increased sCJD risk.

STUDY DESIGN:

Population-based case-control study.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY:

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; 4 years.

METHODOLOGY:

An 11-state case-control study of pathologically confirmed, definite sCJD cases, matched controls, and a sample of control-surrogates was conducted. Ninety-six percent (106/110) of the case data was obtained in 1991-1993, prior to variant CJD publicity.

RESULTS:

Using control self-responses, consumption of hot dogs, sausage, pepperoni, kielbasa, "other" canned meat, poultry liver, any stomach/intestine, beef stomach/intestine, any organ tissue, and beef organ tissue was individually associated with increased sCJD risk; odds ratios (OR) ranged from 2.4 to 7.2 (0.003 <p<0.025). Rare/raw meat consumption was associated with sCJD (OR=2.0; p<0.05). Greater consumption of hot dogs, bologna, salami, sausage, pepperoni and kielbasa was associated with significantly higher risk. The OR for gizzard consumption was 7.6, p<0.04. Bologna, salami, any liver, beef liver and pork stomach/intestine were marginally associated with sCJD: ORs ranged from 1.7 to 3.7; 0.05 <p< 0.10. Brain consumption was not associated with an elevated risk. Analyses using control-surrogate data indicate that use of the control self-responses did not bias the results away from the null hypothesis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The a priori hypotheses were supported. Consumption of various meat products may be one method of transmission of the infectious agent for sCJD.

KEYWORDS:

Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; confirmatory case-control study; dietary risk factors; neuroepidemiology; prion diseases

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