Consumption of fruit, vegetables, and other food groups and the risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- 572 Downloads
The role of dietary habits in the etiology of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has been extensively investigated in high-incidence areas, but evidence is scanty in low-incidence populations. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between NPC risk and a wide range of food groups in the Italian population.
We conducted a hospital-based case–control study in Italy on 198, histologically confirmed, NPC cases of Caucasian ethnicity, aged 18–76 years. Controls were 594 Caucasian cancer-free patients admitted to general hospitals for acute conditions. Odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated through logistic regression, adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and energy intake.
Elevated vegetable consumption was inversely related to NPC risk (OR for highest vs. lower quartile = 0.51; 95 % CI 0.29–0.90). The association was particularly strong for yellow- or red-pigmented vegetables (OR = 0.31; 95 % CI 0.18–0.54), and this effect was stronger among never smokers (OR = 0.18; 95 % CI 0.06–0.55) than among ever smokers (OR = 0.37; 95 % CI 0.19–0.71). Increased NPC risk emerged for elevated eggs consumption (OR = 2.50; 95 % CI 1.44–4.32; p-trend <0.01). No significant associations emerged between NPC risk and consumption of cereals, meat, fish, dairy products, and sweets.
The study findings show that, also in low-risk populations, vegetable consumption is a protective factor against NPC. The stronger effect for yellow- or red-pigmented vegetables is in agreement with the inverse association reported for carotenoids intake.
KeywordsNasopharyngeal carcinoma Dietary habits Food groups Vegetables Fruit
This work was supported by a grant from A.I.R.C. (Italian Association for Cancer Research). The authors wish to thank Mrs. O. Volpato for coordination of data collection and L. Mei for editorial assistance. We are also deeply grateful to Dr. Emilia De Santis for the revision of the histopathological diagnoses; Drs. Giovanni Franchin (Radiation Oncology Div., Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano) for cases ascertainment; and Drs. G. Chiara (1st General Surgery Dept., General Hospital, Pordenone), G. Tosolini (2nd General Surgery Dept., General Hospital, Pordenone), L. Forner (Eye Diseases Dept., General Hospital, Pordenone), A. Mele (Hand Surgery and Microsurgery Dept., General Hospital, Pordenone), and E. Trevisanutto (Dermatology Dept., General Hospital, Pordenone) for helping in enrollment of control patients.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.Curado MP, Edwards B, Shin HR, Storm H, Ferlay J, Heanue M (eds) (2007) Cancer incidence in five continents, Vol. IX. IARC Sci Publ No. 160. IARC, LyonGoogle Scholar
- 4.IARC (2005) Pathology and genetics of head and neck tumours. IARC Sci Publ, IARC, LyonGoogle Scholar
- 5.IARC (1997) IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8, vol. 70. IARC Sci Publ: IARC, LyonGoogle Scholar
- 9.World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. AICR, Washington DC, U.S., pp 250–252Google Scholar
- 25.Breslow NE, Day NE (1980) Statistical methods in cancer research, The analysis of case-control studies, Vol I. IARC Sci Publ No. 32: IARC, LyonGoogle Scholar
- 26.Rothman KJ, Greenland S, Lash TL (2008) Modern Epidemiology, 3rd edn. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- 27.Willett WC, Stampfer MJ (1996) Total energy intake: implication for epidemiological analysis. Am J Epidemiol 124:17–27Google Scholar
- 32.Chew BP, Park JS (2004) Carotenoid action on the immune response. J Nutr 134:257S–261SGoogle Scholar
- 36.Yu MC, Mo CC, Chong WX, Yeh FS, Henderson BE (1988) Preserved food and nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a case-control study in Guanxi. China Cancer Res 48:1954–1959Google Scholar
- 39.Hsu WL, Pan WH, Chien YC et al (2012) Lowered risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and intake of plant vitamin, fresh fish, green tea and coffee: a case-control study in Taiwan. PlosOne 7:e41779Google Scholar