Document Detail

Spousal concordance for cancer incidence: A cohort study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10590385     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Because married couples share at least their home environment, spousal aggregation of cancer might provide clues to unsuspected etiologic factors. The authors sought to measure the concordance of cancer occurrence in married couples and explore factors that might explain greater-than-expected concordance. METHODS: The authors identified 25,670 cancer-free married couples in northern California who were followed for up to 31 years for the development of cancer. In Cox proportional hazards analysis, the development of cancer in a spouse was treated as a time-dependent, independent variable, and spouse-with/spouse-without risk ratios were determined, controlling for age and gender. For selected concordant espoused pairs, additional explanatory information was sought in their medical records. RESULTS: There was no excess concordance for all cancers combined; the spouse-with/spouse-without risk ratio was 0.97 (95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.05). Statistically significant husband-wife associations were found only for cancer of the tongue and stomach and for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Except for cancer of the penis/endometrium and testis/vulva, based on one couple with each combination, gender specific cancers did not aggregate within married couples. Established and suspected risk factors, not necessarily related to the marriage, were found for some individuals who had concordance with their spouses. CONCLUSIONS: Little spousal concordance for cancer occurrence was found. The study of spousal aggregation does not appear useful in identifying unsuspected environmental causes of cancer in heterogeneous populations in urban areas of affluent Western countries. A cohort study would have to be much larger than this one to detect weak spousal concordance reliably.
G D Friedman; C P Quesenberry
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cancer     Volume:  86     ISSN:  0008-543X     ISO Abbreviation:  Cancer     Publication Date:  1999 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-01-05     Completed Date:  2000-01-05     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374236     Medline TA:  Cancer     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2413-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 1999 American Cancer Society.
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Oakland, California, USA.
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MeSH Terms
California / epidemiology
Cohort Studies
Middle Aged
Neoplasms / epidemiology*
Risk Assessment
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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