RESEARCH PAPER
Cancer risk factors in Poland: the PONS Study
 
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1
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University Medical Center, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
2
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
3
European Health Inequalities Observatory, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(2):251–254
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
The burden of cancer in Eastern Europe is expected to increase, and in 2006, Polish males were ranked second in lifetime risk of lung cancer. The Polish-Norwegian Study (PONS) is a population study in the Kielce District, and the presented study describes the distribution of preventable causes of cancer according to gender, age, education, and urban/rural status.

Material and Methods:
PONS comprises individuals 45-64 years of age at baseline. A structured lifestyle interview was conducted, and the following risk factors were recorded: smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity. Binomial regression analysis was used to estimate age and gender adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) for the associated factors.

Results:
A total of 3,862 adults were included in the analysis. Approximately 17% reported current tobacco smoking on a daily basis, 34% were former smokers, and 49% were non- smokers. Current smoking was more prevalent in males (20%) than females (15%), but there was no clear association with educational level or urban/rural status. Females also reported a lower frequency of alcohol consumption than males. Among males, 15% reported drinking alcohol more than once a week, as compared to 2% of the females. There was no clear association with urban/rural status, or with level of education. The total prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30) was 30%; the prevalence of obesity class 2 (BMI ≥35) and class 3 (BMI ≥40) was 8% and 1.7%, respectively. Obesity increased by age, especially in females, and was less frequent among people with high education and people with urban residence.

Conclusions:
The Kielce region of Poland is experiencing a significant burden of cancer risk factors, including obesity and tobacco smoking, but smoking may be a decreasing habit. It is necessary to increase the awareness of the population to the harmful effects of smoking and obesity to prevent cancer and other lifestyle related diseases.

 
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ISSN:1232-1966