Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) Risk Factors: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association with Lifestyle, Diets, Socioeconomic and Sociodemographic in Asian Region

Document Type: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Authors

1 Oncological and Radiological Sciences Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Bertam, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang Malaysia.

2 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, 840001 Ebonyi state, Nigeria.

3 Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Bertam, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang Malaysia.

4 Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Kelantan Kampus Kota Bharu, Wisma KUB, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim, 15050 Kota Bharu, Kelantan Malaysia.

5 Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, 35900 Tanjong Malim, Perak Darul Ridzuan Malaysia.

6 Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

Abstract

Objective: Risk factors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) have been linked with diets, life style and viral
infections. NPC is more rampant in Asian populations than non-Asian countries. Our study aims to assess the validity
of the suggestions provided by multiple case control studies demonstrating that salted fish consumption, smoking and
alcohol consumption are associated with the risk of NPC in Asia. Methods: Search for related literature on salted fish,
smoking and alcohol consumption were performed via Science Direct, PubMed databases and Google Scholar. Articles
included in this study were from 2009 to 2017, with specific focus on salted fish, smoking and alcohol consumption
as risk factors of NPC. This study excluded all articles published prior to 2009 and articles involving other cancers.
Data were extracted independently by two different researchers and harmonized. Meta-analysis was conducted on the
obtained data, by using R package Meta to create funnel and forest plots. Results: The meta-analysis revealed that
salted fish, smoking and alcohol consumption were significantly associated to NPC risk with random effect model score
showing OR of 1.41 at 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.13-1.75 (P<0.01), OR of 1.89 at 95 % CI of 1.49 – 2.38, and
OR: 1.42 at 95 % CI of 1.23 – 1.65 respectively. Our results also revealed significant association of salted meat, salted
vegetables, house type, wood dust exposure associated with NPC risk with p values less than 0.05. Conclusion: This
study proposes that salted fish intake, smoking and alcohol consumption might be linked to NPC risk in Asians. Further
studies are necessary to ascertain the molecular mechanisms and clarify if the associated path that could function as
therapeutic target.

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