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Last Edited: 3/14/2008

Micronucleated erythrocytes as an index of cytogenetic damage in humans: demographic and dietary factors associated with micronucleated erythrocytes in splenectomized subjects
Written: 1990


Erythrocytes containing micronuclei serve as an indicator of genotoxic exposure in individuals who lack splenic function.  The relationship between micronucleated cell frequencies and demographic, environmental, and dietary factors was examined in 44 subjects with previous splenectomy due to trauma.  A multiple regression analysis showed that drinking five cups of coffee or tea per day (relative to none) was associated with an approximately two-fold higher frequency of micronucleated cells.  Weaker statistical associations were also noted with micronucleus frequency and the consumption of calcium supplements (associated with higher frequency) and vitamins A, C, and E (lower frequency).  Cigarette smoking and decaffeinated coffee consumption were among the factors not associated with micronucleated cell frequencies.   

Suggested Citation

  • Smith DF, MacGregor JT, Hiatt RA, Hooper NK, Wehr CM, Peters P, Goldman LR. Micronucleated erythrocytes as an index of cytogenetic damage in humans: demographic and dietary factors associated with micronucleated erythrocytes in splenectomized subjects. Cancer Research 1990; 50(16):5049-5054.