Dietary factors are suggested to be responsible for approximately one-third of cancers in the United States. However, results from epidemiological studies generally showed modest associations between specific nutrients and cancer, with odds ratio generally under 2.0. This phenomenon could be attributed to the homogeneity of the diet consumed by the study population. The diversity of the US population thus provides a unique opportunity for epidemiological study of the relationship between cancer and diet in various ethnic groups. Asian Americans constitute the fastest growing ethnic population in the United States. Since this population has lower rates of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer and is thought to have distinct dietary practices, it would be informative to conduct a study contrasting the diet and cancer prevalence among various ethnic groups. A valid, rapid dietary assessment instrument that includes oriental food items will be crucial for epidemiological studies of cancer and diet. Food frequency questionnaires targeting the general US population are currently available. They, however, do not include food items that would reflect the inclusion of oriental foods. Vietnamese populations include some very unique dishes in their daily consumption. Therefore, it would be constructive to characterize the diet of this ethnic group while identifying other food items for inclusion in future dietary assessment instruments directed toward multicultural US population. This study is to conduct a population-based survey of the Vietnamese-Americans living in the metropolitan New Orleans area. Approximately 300 study subjects will be randomly selected from a telephone list of Vietnamese surnames. Three random-day 24-hour dietary recalls will be conducted through telephone interviews. Nutritional status assessed through the measurement of serum biomarkers will also be used for comparison. The information will be compiled and a food frequency questionnaire will be developed specifically for this population. This newly developed questionnaire will be administered to 50 percent of study subjects, while another 50 percent of the study subject will receive the food frequency questionnaire widely used in the general US. The test results will be examined to determine an optimal questionnaire that may be used in epidemiological studies of diet and cancer on multi-ethnic groups. The results of this study could potentially be compared to an on-going study of the mainstream population in the same geographic area to identify cancer risk in diet.
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