Consumption of vegetables and fruits and risk of subtypes of head-neck cancer in the Netherlands Cohort Study

D.H.E. Maasland, P.A. van den Brandt, B. Kremer, R.A. Goldbohm, L.J. Schouten

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Abstract

There is limited prospective data on the relationship between consumption of vegetables and fruits and the risk of head-neck cancer (HNC) subtypes [i.e., oral cavity cancer (OCC), oro-/hypopharyngeal cancer (OHPC) and laryngeal cancer (LC)]. Therefore, we investigated these associations within the Netherlands Cohort Study, in which 120,852 participants completed a 150-item food frequency questionnaire at baseline in 1986. After 20.3 years of follow-up, 415 cases of HNC (131 OCC, 88 OHPC, three oral cavity/pharynx unspecified or overlapping and 193 LC) and 3,898 subcohort members were available for case-cohort analysis using Cox proportional hazards models. Total vegetable and fruit consumption was inversely associated with risk of HNC overall [multivariable-adjusted rate ratios for highest vs. lowest quartile: 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.85, p trend 0.002] and all HNC subtypes, with the strongest associations for OCC. Total vegetable intake and total fruit intake were also associated with a decreased risk of HNC overall and HNC subtypes. No significant interaction was found between vegetable and fruit intake and alcohol consumption or cigarette smoking. In conclusion, in this large-scale cohort study, consumption of vegetables and fruits was associated with a decreased risk of HNC overall and all subtypes. Consumption of vegetables and fruits (or of specific groups of them) may protect against HNC and its subtypes.

What's new? A diet rich in vegetables and fruits may decrease the risk of head and neck cancer (HNC) and HNC subtypes (oral cavity, oro-/hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancer). However, prospective data are limited and the existing evidence has been largely based on case-control studies. In this large cohort study, the authors found that increased consumption of vegetables and fruits was indeed associated with a decreased risk of HNC overall and HNC subtypes. These results thus support the hypothesis that consumption of vegetables and fruits protects against HNC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E396-E409
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume136
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • cohort studies
  • etiology
  • fruits
  • head-neck cancer
  • vegetables
  • UPPER AERODIGESTIVE TRACT
  • SCALE PROSPECTIVE COHORT
  • CIGARETTE-SMOKING
  • DIETARY PATTERNS
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY CONSORTIUM
  • INTERNATIONAL HEAD
  • POOLED ANALYSIS
  • METAANALYSIS
  • ALCOHOL
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

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