May 19, 2016

Burden of disease of dietary exposure to acrylamide in Denmark

L S Jakobsen et al, 2016. Burden of disease of dietary exposure to acrylamide in Denmark, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 90.


Acrylamide (AA) is a process-contaminant that potentially increases the risk of developing cancer in humans. AA is formed during heat treatment of starchy foods and detected in a wide range of commonly consumed products. Increased focus on risk ranking and prioritization of major causes of disease makes it relevant to estimate the impact that exposure to chemical contaminants and other hazards in food have on health. In this study, we estimated the burden of disease (BoD) caused by dietary exposure to AA, using disability adjusted life years (DALY) as health metric. We applied an exposure-based approach and proposed a model of three components: an exposure, health-outcome, and DALY-module. We estimated BoD using two approaches for estimating cancer risk based on toxicological data and two approaches for estimating DALY. In Denmark, 1.8 healthy life years per 100.000 inhabitants are lost each year due to exposure to AA through foods, as estimated by the most conservative approach. This result should be used to inform risk management decisions and for comparison with BoD of other food-borne hazards for prioritizing policies. However, our study shows that careful evaluation of methodological choices and assumptions used in BoD studies is necessary before use in policy making.

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