Prospective study of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of lung cancer among men and women

Diane Feskanich, Regina G. Ziegler, Dominique S. Michaud, Edward L. Giovannucci, Frank E. Speizer, Walter C. Willett, Graham A. Colditz

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329 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of lung cancer. β-Carotene was hypothesized to be largely responsible for the apparent protective effect, but this hypothesis was not supported by clinical trials. Methods: We examined the association between lung cancer risk and fruit and vegetable consumption in 77283 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 47778 men in the Health Professionals' Follow-up Study. Diet was assessed with the use of a food-frequency questionnaire that included 15 fruits and 23 vegetables. We used logistic regression models to estimate relative risks (RRs) of lung cancer within each cohort. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: We documented 519 lung cancer cases among the women and 274 among the men. Total fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a modestly lower risk of lung cancer among the women but not among the men. The RR for the highest versus lowest quintile of intake was 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.59-1.06) among the women and 1.12 (95% CI = 0.74-1.69) among the men after adjustment for smoking status, quantity of cigarettes smoked per day, time since quitting smoking, and age at initiation of smoking. However, total fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a lower risk of lung cancer among never smokers in the combined cohorts, although the reduction was not statistically significant (RR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.35-1.12 in the highest tertile). Conclusion: Higher fruit and vegetable intakes were associated with lower risks of lung cancer in women but not in men. It is possible that the inverse association among the women remained confounded by unmeasured smoking characteristics, although fruits and vegetables were protective in both men and women who never smoked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1812-1823
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Volume92
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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    Feskanich, D., Ziegler, R. G., Michaud, D. S., Giovannucci, E. L., Speizer, F. E., Willett, W. C., & Colditz, G. A. (2000). Prospective study of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of lung cancer among men and women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 92(22), 1812-1823.