We prospectively examined the incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer and its subtypes in relation to baseline fruit and vegetable consumption in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, a population-based cohort study of 61 084 women aged 38-76 years in 1987-1990. During an average follow-up of 13.5 years, 266 incident cases of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer were diagnosed. After adjustment for potential confounders, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between consumption of vegetables and ovarian cancer risk (P-value for trend=0.01); the multivariate rate ratio (RR) for the comparison of three or more servings of vegetables per day with one or fewer servings per day was 0.61 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.38-0.97). For fruit consumption a modest, not statistically significant, positive association was found (P-value for trend=0.07); the multivariate RR for the highest compared with the lowest category of consumption being 1.37 (95% CI, 0.90-2.06). The associations with fruit and vegetable consumption did not vary by subtype of ovarian cancer. These findings suggest that high consumption of vegetables, but not of fruits, may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
BACKGROUND: Several recent large prospective cohort studies have failed to demonstrate the presumed protective effect of fruit, vegetable, and dietary fiber consumption on colorectal cancer risk. To further explore this issue, we have examined these associations in a population that consumes relatively low amounts of fruit and vegetables and high amounts of cereals. METHODS: We examined data obtained from a food-frequency questionnaire used in a population-based prospective mammography screening study of women in central Sweden. Women with colorectal cancer diagnosed through December 31, 1998, were identified by linkage to regional cancer registries. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: During an average 9.6 years of follow-up of 61 463 women, we observed 460 incident cases of colorectal cancer (291 colon cancers, 159 rectal cancers, and 10 cancers at both sites). In the entire study population, total fruit and vegetable consumption was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. Subanalyses showed that this association was due largely to fruit consumption. The association was stronger, however, and the dose-response effect was more evident among individuals who consumed the lowest amounts of fruit and vegetables. Individuals who consumed less than 1.5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day had a relative risk for developing colorectal cancer of 1.65 (95% confidence interval = 1.23 to 2.20; P(trend) =.001) compared with individuals who consumed more than 2.5 servings. We observed no association between colorectal cancer risk and the consumption of cereal fiber, even at amounts substantially greater than previously examined, or of non-cereal fiber. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals who consume very low amounts of fruit and vegetables have the greatest risk of colorectal cancer. Relatively high consumption of cereal fiber does not appear to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
In a few previous studies on diet and renal cell cancer, an inconsistent positive association with meat, milk, and protein and a negative association with vegetable and fruit consumption have been found. Whereas earlier studies have dealt with recent diet only, our study explored the effect of foods consumed both during the usual adult lifetime and 20 years prior to interview. The study included 379 individuals with incident histologically verified renal cell cancer and 350 control subjects residing in eight counties in Sweden between June 1989 and December 1991. Usual adult dietary intake and dietary habits 20 years prior to interview were assessed by a structured face-to-face interview and a self-administered questionnaire, respectively. Odds ratios were estimated through unconditional logistic regression. We have not observed an association of renal cell cancer with milk or total meat consumption per se; however, frequent intake of fried/sautéed meat increased the risk of renal cell cancer by about 60%; frequent consumption of poultry was also associated with an increased risk (P for trend, 0.05). A significantly protective effect on risk of renal cell cancer was observed with increasing consumption of fruit (P for trend, 0.05). When analyzed by smoking status, total fruit and especially citrus fruit consumption among nonsmokers showed an even stronger protective effect; the highest quartiles of total fruit, apple, and citrus fruit consumption entailed a 50-60% reduction in risk of renal cell cancer compared with the lowest quartiles. There was a suggestion of a protective effect of high total vegetable consumption. A protective effect of vitamin C and alpha-tocopherol was also more pronounced in nonsmokers (P for trend, 0.004 and 0.007, respectively). Our study adds to the evidence that diet may have an important role in the etiology of renal cell cancer.
A number of prospective cohort studies have examined the relations of individual dietary variables to risk of colorectal cancer. Few studies have addressed the broader eating patterns that reflect many dietary exposures working together. Using data from a prospective study of 61,463 women, with an average follow-up period of 9.6 years (between 1987 and 1998) and 460 incident cases of colorectal cancer, the authors conducted a factor analysis to identify and examine major dietary patterns in relation to colorectal cancer risk. Using proportional hazards regression to estimate relative risks, the authors found no clear association between a "Western," "healthy," or "drinker" dietary pattern and colorectal cancer risk. However, the data suggested that consuming low amounts of foods that constitute a "healthy" dietary pattern may be associated with increased risks of colon and rectal cancers. An inverse association with the "healthy" dietary pattern was found among women under age 50 years, although the number of cancers in this age group was limited and interpretation of this finding should be cautious. In this age group, relative risks for women in increasing quintiles of the "healthy" dietary pattern, compared with the lowest quintile, were 0.74 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.41, 1.31), 0.69 (95% CI: 0.39, 1.24), 0.59 (95% CI: 0.32, 1.07), and 0.45 (95% CI: 0.23, 0.88) (p for trend = 0.03). The role of overall eating patterns in predicting colorectal cancer risk requires further investigation.
The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus has increased rapidly in recent decades. In order to appreciate the potential for prevention by means of dietary modification, we estimated the aetiological fractions and the increments in absolute risk attributable to low intake of fruit and vegetables for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus and for adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction. We conducted a nationwide population-based case-control study in Sweden, with participation of 608 cases and 815 controls. We used unconditional logistic regression to estimate relative risks, from which we calculated aetiological fractions. Individuals in the highest exposure quartile (median 4.8 servings/day) versus the lowest (median 1.5 servings/day) showed approximately 50% lower risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and 40% lower risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, but no risk reduction for gastric cardia adenocarcinoma. Approximately 20% of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, and likewise squamous cell carcinoma, in Sweden was attributed to consuming less than three servings of fruit and vegetables per day. A very large number of individuals (over 25,000) would need to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption moderately in order to prevent one oesophageal cancer per year. Moderate relative risk reductions translate into weak absolute risk reductions for oesophageal cancers in Sweden.
In spite of diverging incidence trends, subsite, and subtype-specific gastric cancer data on the association with dietary antioxidants are sparse. We aimed to test whether the apparent protective effect of antioxidants is mainly confined to noncardia (distal) cancer of the intestinal subtype, to which most of the incidence decline in gastric cancer has been ascribed. In a Swedish study base (total population 1.3 million), we interviewed 567 cases uniformly classified to subsite (cardia vs. noncardia) and subtype (intestinal vs. diffuse), and 1165 population-based controls, frequency matched for age and sex. Serologic data on H. pylori status was available for a subset of 542 individuals. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was inversely associated with all subsites and subtypes of gastric cancer in a significant dose-response manner (all p