Epidemiology of Complex Disease


The Bladder cancer Epidemiology and Nutritional Determinants study (BLEND) aims to pool the data of observational studies from across the world to evaluate the association between individual food items, nutrients and dietary patterns and bladder cancer risk.


Although many researchers focused on the relation between diet and bladder cancer, results on which specific foods or nutrients are involved in the development of this disease remain inconclusive. Therefore, it is yet unclear which dietary modifications should be recommended to prevent bladder cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) concluded in their 2007 2nd WCRF/AICR expert report (pdf) that there is limited evidence so far for an association between specific foods and nutrients and the risk of bladder cancer. ​​
​Therefore, pooling data of epidemiological studies on diet and bladder cancer is an effective way to develop the evidence base regarding the influences of dietary patterns, individual food items and nutrients on bladder cancer risk.

The consortium

The consortium currently consists of 18 case-control and 6 cohort studies and includes study populations from Europe, the USA and Asia. BLEND currently contains data on 11.275 bladder cancer cases, 19.975 controls and 665.605 cohort members in bladder cancer studies. These numbers are still rising through including more studies in the consortium.


This study was partly funded by the World Cancer Research Fund and the European Commission.

Research group

Prof. Maurice Zeegers
Mieke Goossens, MD
Sylvia Jochems, MSc
Frits van Osch, MSc
Anke Wesselius, PhD
Maree Brinkman, PhD




Anke Wesselius, PhD
E: anke.wesselius@maastrichtuniversity.nl