Risk Factors for Rectal Cancer and Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Polymorphisms in a Population in Northeast Thailand

  • Promthet, Supannee (Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Pientong, Chamsai (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Ekalaksananan, Tipaya (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Songserm, Nopparat (Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health, Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University) ;
  • Poomphakwaen, Kirati (Department of Public Health, Faculty of Science and Technology, Loei Rajabhat University) ;
  • Chopjitt, Peechanika (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wiangnon, Surapon (Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Tokudome, Shinkan (National Institute of Health and Nutrition)
  • Published : 2012.08.31


Background and Aim: Polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are known to be associated with predisposition for certain cancers. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of lifestyle factors, family history and genetic polymorphisms in MTHFR C677T and A1298C on rectal cancer risk and possible interactions with lifestyle factors in Northeast Thailand. Methods: A hospital-based case-control study was conducted during 2002-2006 with recruitment of 112 rectal cancer cases and 242 non-rectal cancer patient controls. Information was collected using a structured-questionnaire. Blood samples were obtained for assay of MTHFR C677T and A1298C genotypes by polymerase chain reaction with restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) techniques. Associations between lifestyle factors, family history and genetic polymorphisms v.s. rectal cancer risk were assessed using logistic regression analysis. Results: Subjects with frequent and occasional constipation had a higher risk ($OR_{adj.}$=14.64; 95%CI=4.28-50.04 and $OR_{adj.}$=2.15; 95%CI=1.14-4.06), along with those who reported ever having hemorrhoids ($OR_{adj.}$=2.82; 95%CI=1.36-5.84) or a family history of cancer ($OR_{adj.}$=1.90; 95%CI=1.06-3.39). Consumption of a high level of pork was also associated with risk ($OR_{adj.}$=1.82; 95%CI=1.05-3.15). Interactions were not observed between MTHFR and other risk factors. Conclusions: This study suggested that the risk factors for rectal cancer in the Thai population are bowel habits, having had hemorrhoids, a family history of cancer and pork consumption.


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