Deskriptive und komparative Analyse der reproduktiven Daten der Frauen innerhalb der beiden deutschen EPIC-Kohorten Potsdam und Heidelberg
Abstract (Summary)This paper deals with parts of the baseline data of the study European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) which has been initiated in 1990, and which aims at examining links between nutrition and chronic diseases in general as well as cancer diseases in particular. In order to be able to identifying the influence of nutritional factors on these diseases it is crucial to take into account the distribution of other known or alleged risk factors existing in the study cohorts. As far as women are concerned, reproductive factors play an essential role among such non-nutritional factors. This paper takes into account the reproductive data of the women in the two German EPIC centers Potsdam (n=16,630) and Heidelberg (n=13,616) and aims at describing and comparing these data. The results show some significant differences between the two study cohorts, such as in regard to the share of nulliparity, which is 10 per cent among the Potsdam cohort, but reaches 20.3 per cent in the Heidelberg group, and in regard to the average age of the women at first birth, which is 23.2 in Potsdam and 25.6 in Heidelberg. Such evident differences and more, which all must be regarded as primarily social factors, become even more significant when one describes the respective cohorts on the basis of the women?s age. By way of contrast, primarily biologically determined factors such as the age of menarche differ hardly between Heidelberg and Potsdam. It is remarkable that the data on the use of HRT and oral contraceptives are very similar in both cohorts, too, even if this factor belongs to the socially and society-influenced factors. As for the analyses of links between nutrition and chronic diseases, which represent the major aim of EPIC, and which have to be controlled in regard to the reproductive factors mentioned in this paper, the results presented in this paper suggest that it any forthcoming study has to verify if it is possible to analyze several centers collectively, or if every center has to be analyzed individually. In particular the use of the surrogate-variable "education" can lead to difficulties or misunderstandings, as it has different implications in Potsdam and Heidelberg respectively.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:EPIC women cancer Risk factors reproductive
Date of Publication:09/10/2003