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Ann Oncol. 2012 Jul;23(7):1869-80. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr548. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Nutrient-based dietary patterns and the risk of head and neck cancer: a pooled analysis in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium.

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  • 1Section of Medical Statistics and Biometry Giulio A. Maccacaro, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The association between dietary patterns and head and neck cancer has rarely been addressed.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We used individual-level pooled data from five case-control studies (2452 cases and 5013 controls) participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium. A posteriori dietary patterns were identified through a principal component factor analysis carried out on 24 nutrients derived from study-specific food-frequency questionnaires. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression models on quintiles of factor scores.

RESULTS:

We identified three major dietary patterns named 'animal products and cereals', 'antioxidant vitamins and fiber', and 'fats'. The 'antioxidant vitamins and fiber' pattern was inversely related to oral and pharyngeal cancer (OR=0.57, 95% CI 0.43-0.76 for the highest versus the lowest score quintile). The 'animal products and cereals' pattern was positively associated with laryngeal cancer (OR=1.54, 95% CI 1.12-2.11), whereas the 'fats' pattern was inversely associated with oral and pharyngeal cancer (OR=0.78, 95% CI 0.63-0.97) and positively associated with laryngeal cancer (OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.22-2.34).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that diets rich in animal products, cereals, and fats are positively related to laryngeal cancer, and those rich in fruit and vegetables inversely related to oral and pharyngeal cancer.

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