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Shanghai Prospective Cohort Study of Occupational Exposures and Cancer Risk Among Women

Nathaniel Rothman

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National Cancer Institute (NIH)
In collaboration with the Shanghai Cancer Institute and Vanderbilt University, NCI is conducting the Shanghai Women’s Health Study (SWHS), a prospective cohort study of 75,000 Chinese women who were recruited between 1997 and 2000 to assess the role of occupational and environmental factors in the development of cancer. Over the years, data and biological samples collected in the SWHW have been used to evaluate many important etiologic hypotheses and to support multiple studies. A number of analytic projects are ongoing, including the assessment of specific cancer risks in relation to anthropometric measurements, physical activity, and reproductive factors. An investigation of physical activity, which involves novel methods of assessing physical activity using new “high-tech” activity monitors, as well as analysis of physical activity in relation to specific inflammatory markers, is also underway within the cohort. Using a case-cohort study design, investigators will examine urinary prostaglandin E2 metabolite, as well as telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number measured in peripheral white blood cells in relation to the risk of cancer. NCI investigators have published a number of papers examining the role of occupation, hair dye use, obesity, reproductive factors, and family cancer history in relation to risk of cancer and other chronic diseases using questionnaire data from the SWHS. Associations with certain occupations and industries have been suggested for chronic bronchitis, breast cancer, and lung cancer in non-smoking women, providing leads for future investigations with more sophisticated occupational exposure assessment methods.

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