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Karagas Data Cited in Bladder Cancer Study

November 19, 2009

Margaret Karagas, PhD

Margaret R. Karagas, PhD

Using data from Dartmouth epidemiologist Margaret Karagas's studies of possible triggers of cancer among northern New England residents, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found an increased risk of bladder cancer for chronic, long-term smokers of cigarettes in the region since the mid-1990s.

The findings of the NCI study, which appear online in the November issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, show the risk of bladder cancer growing, among current smokers in New Hampshire, to five times the risk for non-smokers studied in the Granite State between 2001 and 2004. Researchers also found that among individuals who smoked the same number of cigarettes over their lifetime, smoking fewer cigarettes per day for more years may cause more harm than smoking more cigarettes per day for fewer years.

The data indicate an increased risk of bladder cancer for chronic, long-term smokers of cigarettes in New England.
Margaret R. Karagas, PhD, co-director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center's Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention Program and section head of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Dartmouth Medical School, collaborated with lead author Dalsu Baris, MD, PhD, of NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in Bethesda, Md., with researchers from Brown University, and with the state departments of health of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. To examine changes in smoking-induced bladder cancer risk over time, the researchers compared odds ratios for New Hampshire residents in the NCI study with those from two case-control studies that Karagas conducted in New Hampshire in 1994 and 1998.

DMS colleagues working with Karagas were Alan R. Schned, MD, a member of the Cancer Center's Prostate and Genitourinary Cancer Programs Team; Angeline S. Andrew, PhD, a member of the Cancer Center's Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention Program; and Richard Waddell, DSc, research assistant professor of medicine.

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