Thought this might interest.
CJD, CLASSICAL, & BEEF CONSUMPTION NOT LINKED - EUROPE
A ProMED-mail post
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 10:41:19 -0500
From: Martin Hugh-Jones <email@example.com>
Source: Electronic Telegraph, Friday 10 April 1998
Research fails to find link between beef and CJD
By Celia Hall, Medical Editor
THE largest study to date of the risks of contracting the human form
of mad cow disease [CJD, not nvCJD. MHJ] has found no evidence of
links with eating beef, veal, lamb cheese or dairy products or from
blood transfusions. The study of risk factors involved in Creutzfeldt
Jakob disease from the European Collaborative Study Group, has found a
tendency for there to be higher levels of dementia, not caused by CJD,
in the families of the cases that they investigated.
The cases studied, which included a large group of British patients,
looked at "classical" CJD. Dr Cornelia van Duijn, of the Erasmus
University Medical School, Rotterdam, who led the study, said that
while a small number of cases of new variant CJD were included the
numbers were too small for them to be considered separately. As it is
new variant CJD that has been most closely associated with eating
beef, the researchers say their findings must be treated cautiously
until more information is available.
The team from Britain, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany and
Italy looked in detail at 199 definite and 206 probable cases of CJD
between 1993 and 1995 and compared them with 405 matched controls.
They included 88 British cases investigated by the CJD Surveillance
Unit at the Western General Infirmary, Edinburgh. Family histories,
medical histories, diet, lifestyle, and occupation were studied in
detail in the patients and the controls and compared.
The study in The Lancet found that 54 cases, compared with 22
controls, had larger numbers of first-degree relatives who suffered
from other forms of dementia. The researchers also found a link
between CJD and eating raw meat, brain and pork, with using
fertilisers containing cow hoof and horn and exposure to leather,
including wearing it. But workers in the leather industry showed no
increased risk of CJD.
Dr van Duijn said yesterday that they did not understand the leather
findings. The higher risk among pork eaters was also a puzzle since
there is no increase of spongiform encephalopathy, the animal brain
disease, in pigs. She said: "We have looked at classical CJD in a
narrow time frame. It is by far the largest study ever conducted, but
we have to wait a lot longer to get a real picture". Even significant
links could reflect a "statistical fluke" rather than a genuine cause
The researchers think that sufferers may have an inherited
susceptibility to a number of conditions that include Alzheimer's
disease and prion protein disorders. Prions are the agents found in
cases of CJD.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
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