, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 273-281
Date: 06 Nov 2007

The association between self-reported acrylamide intake and hemoglobin adducts as biomarkers of exposure

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The validity of epidemiological studies assessing a lifetime cancer risk due to environmental factors, such as nutrition or smoking behavior strongly depends on the validity of the patient’s history.


This study assesses whether a standardized questionnaire is a valid tool to identify exposure with acrylamide by relating the self-reported food and smoking history with a biomarker, namely hemoglobin-adduct levels of acrylamide.


Objective parameters of previous exposure, such as hemoglobin-adduct levels of acrylamide and of the smoking-specific acrylonitrile, respectively, were related to self-reported data in 1,008 volunteers of the general population in bivariate analyses and a multiple linear regression analysis using the log-transformed biomarker levels as outcome.


Smoking was significantly associated with adduct levels of acrylamide (p < 0.0001) and had a main contribution to the internal burden with acrylamide. In cigarette smokers a strong correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked daily and the corresponding biomarkers was observed. Focusing on non-smokers (n = 828), a significant but weak correlation was found in bivariate analyses (Spearman rank correlation coefficient: 0.178 (95% CI: 0.089–0.268) in females and 0.168 (95% CI: 0.063–0.273) in males. A multiple linear regression analysis similarly yielded evidence of a significant association between the highest intake category and adduct levels; however, explained variability was very small (R2 = 0.08).


Self-reported data concerning smoking behavior were highly valid, while self-reported food intake is apparently not as useful for estimating food-related acrylamide exposure.