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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 36(4); 2003 > Article
Original Article A Study on the Association Between Ginseng Intake and Incidences of Cancer: Kangwha Cohort Study.
Joo Sun Byun, Heechoul Ohrr, Sang Wook Yi, Jae Suk Hong, Tae Yong Sohn
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2003;36(4):367-372
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1Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Korea.
4Department of Health Service Administration, Yuhan Junior College, Korea.

There are many concerns about ginseng as a cancer chemopreventive substance, but there have been few epidemiological studies on ginseng. This study sought to examine the relationships between ginseng intake and cancer incidence in the Kangwha cohort. METHODS: Between March 1985 and December 1999, 2697 males, aged 55 or over, as of 1985, were followed up for their cancer incidence. The cancer incidence rate, standardized incidence ratio and risk ratios were calculated according to ginseng intake. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to adjust for age at entry, smoking, alcohol intake, hypertension, and body mass index. RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: The ginseng intake group had the same cancer (C00-C97) incidences (Standardized Incidence Ratio: SIR=1.11, 95% Confidence Interval = 0.97-1.27) and the same risk ratio (RR=1.09, 95% Confidence Interval = 0.85-1.41) as the no-intake group. Analyzing the subjects that had followed up from 1990, however, the ginseng intake group had lower cancer incidences at all sites (RR = 0.79, 95% Confidence Interval = 0.58-1.09). This was a cohort study to try and evaluate the association between ginseng intake and the incidences of cancer. The results of this study provide no clear conclusions on the cancer preventive effects of ginseng. Therefore, further study is needed in the future.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health