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October 2022

Mutat Res. 1986 Aug; 162(1): 131-5.

Very low sister-chromatid exchange rate in Seventh-Day Adventists.

Wulf HC, Iversen AS, Husum B, Niebuhr E.

42 Seventh-Day Adventists (SDAs) and 42 controls matched for sex, age and occupation had their sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) examined in peripheral blood lymphocytes. This was done to examine if the SCE frequency was lower in this group of people, who are known to have a decreased cancer risk compared to the general population. The average SCE/cell in 30 cells from each person was 5.54 +/- 0.07 (mean +/- standard error of the mean) for the SDAs and 8.00 +/- 0.15 for the controls, the difference being statistically significant (p less than 0.00001). No difference in SCE frequency was found between SDAs eating only an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet and those eating some fish or meat. The mitotic index (MI) was significantly higher and the replication index (RI) was significantly lower in SDAs than in controls. No correlation was found between gamma (a statistical transformation of SCEs/cell) and MI or RI within the groups of SDAs or controls. In the pooled data there was a negative correlation of gamma and MI and a positive correlation of gamma and RI. Of the interpersonal variation in gamma 8% and 14% could be explained by MI and RI. The finding of a lower SCE frequency in a group of SDAs who have a low risk of cancer might indirectly indicate a relation between SCE and cancer and encourages further studies of SCE and diet.

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