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Selenium Inversely Linked to Gastric, Esophageal Cancers

Study supports links to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Selenium status appears to be inversely associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA), and there may also be an inverse association between esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and selenium status in certain subgroups, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

Jessie Steevens, of Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 120,852 men and women aged 55 to 69 years in the prospective Netherlands Cohort study. The cohort members provided toenail clippings for determination of baseline selenium status, and after 16.3 years of follow-up, 64 ESCC, 112 EAC, 114 GCA and 2,072 subcohort members were available for case-cohort assessment.

The researchers found an inverse association between selenium status and risk of ESCC, as well as a borderline significant inverse association between selenium status and risk of GCA. No overall association between selenium status and EAC was found, but significant inverse associations were found for women, never smokers, and low antioxidant consumers.

"Our study provides evidence for an inverse association between toenail selenium levels and risk of ESCC and GCA. The association with GCA was more apparent in women, and only in women was an inverse association found with EAC risk, but this was based on small numbers," the authors write.

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