Risk factors for leukoplakia and malignant transformation to oral carcinoma: A leukoplakia cohort in Taiwan

M. N. Shiu, T. H.H. Chen*, S. H. Chang, L. J. Hahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of betel nut chewing, smoking and alcohol on the occurrence of leukoplakia and its malignant transformation to oral carcinoma were quantified in a leukoplakia cohort (n = 435) from one medical centre between 1988 and 1998 in Taiwan. Sixty oral carcinomas were ascertained in this cohort. A case-control study within the leukoplakia cohort was used to study risk factors. Using the Weibull survival model, the incidence of malignant transformation of leukoplakia was shown to increase with follow-up years. After adjustment for other relevant risk factors, betel nut chewing (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 4.59; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-16.86) remained a significant risk factor for malignant transformation. Results from the case-control study showed that the adjusted odds ratios for betel nut chewing and smoking on the occurrence of leukoplakia were 17.43 (95% CI 1.94-156.27) and 3.22 (95% CI 1.06-9.78), respectively. Similar findings were observed when daily frequency and duration were taken into account. This implies that cessation of smoking may reduce by 36% leukoplakia cases, while elimination of betel nuts may prevent 62% of leukoplakia and 26% of malignant transformation to oral carcinoma in the underlying population. (C) 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1871-1874
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume82
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Betel nut chewing
  • Leukoplakia
  • Oral cancer
  • Smoking

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