NIH Research Festival
Background: Stomach is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with a poor prognosis resulting from late stage at diagnosis. Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the oxyntic glands of the stomach and previous work by our group in a Finnish cohort has suggested that low serum ghrelin concentrations are associated with subsequent incidence of gastric cancer. Methods: We conducted a gastric cancer case-control study nested within two prospective Chinese studies: the Nutritional Intervention Trial (NIT; n=265 cases), and the Shanghai Women’s Health Study (SWHS; n=249 cases), to examine the relationship between circulating ghrelin concentration and the risk of gastric cancer. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using logistic regression with adjustment for potential confounders, including Helicobacter pylori seropositivity and serum concentration of pepsinogens 1 and 2 at baseline. Results: Low circulating ghrelin concentrations were associated with a significantly increased risk of gastric cancer in both NIT (OR per ½ interquartile range: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.28) and SWHS (OR: 1.11; 95% 1.01, 1.23). Individuals in the lowest quartile of ghrelin had a significantly increased risk of gastric cancer relative to those in the highest quartile (NIT: OR: 1.78; 95% CI: 1.13, 2.79 & SWHS: OR: 1.68; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.73). Conclusion: These results in two Asian cohorts replicate our previous findings, and suggest that ghrelin may play a role in gastric carcinogenesis.
Scientific Focus Area: Epidemiology
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