Dietary patterns associated with male lung cancer risk in the Netherlands Cohort Study

H.F. Balder*, R.A. Goldbohm, P.A. van den Brandt

*Corresponding author for this work

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The objective of this article was to study the association between dietary patterns and lung cancer incidence in the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. The baseline measurement of this prospective case cohort study that was completed by 58,279 men in 1986 included a self-administered questionnaire on dietary intake, smoking habits, and other covariates. Follow-up was established by computerized record linkage to cancer registries and a pathology register. After 9.3 years of follow-up, 1,426 confirmed cases of incident male lung cancer were detected. Five dietary patterns were identified by exploratory factor analysis in a randomly sampled subcohort (n = 2,190). The dietary pattern labeled "salad vegetables" was associated with decreased risk of lung cancer [rate ratios (RR)(Q5), 0.75; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.55-1.01], after multivariate adjustment. This inverse association was most evident among current and former smokers. A dietary pattern labeled "sweet foods" was also inversely associated with lung cancer risk (RR(Q5), 0.62; 95% CI, 0.43-0.89). However, the higher intake of monosaccharides and disaccharides, fruits, and lower consumption of alcohol associated with this pattern could not account for its full protective effect. The "pork, processed meat, and potatoes" pattern was nonsignificantly associated with increased risk (RR(Q5), 1.44; 95% CI, 0.99-2.09), and this positive association was most evident among current smokers. The other dietary patterns characterized by brown/white bread substitution and by consumption of cooked vegetables were not associated with lung cancer risk. These results show how studying both single factors and dietary patterns gives more insight into the complex, and often seemingly inconsistent, associations between diet and cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-490
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


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