Background: There were few prospective cohort studies in Japan using cancer incidence as an endpoint. Methods: We conducted a baseline survey with two self-administered questionnaires regarding lifestyle and personality on the residents aged 40 to 64 years in 14 municipalities of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, during June through August, 1990. Out of the eligible 51,921 residents, 47,605 (91.7%) responded to the lifestyle questionnaire and formed the cohort under study. We collated the list of subjects in the cohort with the Miyagi Prefectural Cancer Registry data through December 31, 1997. To identify the same person between two data, we used four personal characteristics (sex, name, birthday, and municipality of dwelling). Results: We ascertained 1,718 cases of incident cancer. In men, gastric cancer was the leading site of cancer (27.7%), followed by lung cancer and colon cancer. In women, breast cancer was the most common (19.6%), followed by gastric cancer and colon cancer. Conclusions: By record linkage with regional cancer registry data, it becomes possible for us to investigate the effect of various life-styles on cancer incidence in the Miyagi Cohort Study. We expect this data to contribute to the progress of research on cancer etiology and cancer prevention.
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