Jiangsu Four Cancers Study: a large case–control study of lung, liver, stomach, and esophageal cancers in Jiangsu Province, China

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Cancer is a major public health burden both globally and in China. The most common cancer-related deaths in China are attributable to cancers of the lung, liver, stomach, and esophagus. Previous epidemiologic studies on cancer in China have often been limited by small sample sizes, inconsistent measurements, and lack of precise and accurate data. The Jiangsu Four Cancers (JFC) Study is a population-based case–control study carried out in an effort to obtain consistent and high-quality data to investigate the life style, behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors associated with the four major cancers in China. The aim of this paper is to describe the overall design of the JFC Study and report selected findings on the major risk factors for cancers. Epidemiologic data were collected from 2003 to 2010 through in-person interviews using a structured questionnaire and blood samples were drawn. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate the associations of putative risk factors with risks of cancers of the lung, liver, stomach, and esophagus. The study included 2871 lung cancer cases, 2018 liver cancer cases, 2969 esophageal cancer cases, 2216 stomach cancer cases, and 8019 community controls. Low educational level, low income level, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and family history of cancer were confirmed as risk factors for these major cancers. The JFC Study is one of the largest case–control studies of cancers in the Chinese population and will serve as a rich resource for future research on the four major cancers in China.

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