Interindividual differences in bladder cancer susceptibility may be partly mediated through polymorphic variability in the metabolism of carcinogens. N-acetyl transferase-2 (NAT2) has been extensively studied as a risk factor in this context, but the results are inconsistent. In some studies the failure to demonstrate a relationship may be a consequence of a lack of statistical power. To overcome lack of power, data from 21 published case-control studies were pooled in a meta-analysis using a random-effects model. The pooled odds ratio of bladder cancer associated with slow acetylator status was 1.31 (95% CI: 1.11-1.55). The results suggest that NAT2 slow acetylator status is associated with a modest increase in risk of bladder cancer. There was, however, heterogeneity between studies. It is clear from this overview that greater attention should be paid to the design of these types of study.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.