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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1988 Oct 5;80(15):1237-43.

Dietary factors in oral and pharyngeal cancer.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


A population-based case-control study of oral and pharyngeal cancer conducted in four areas of the United States provided information on a number of risk factors, including diet. Interviews were obtained from 871 oral cancer patients and 979 controls among whites, frequency matched for age and sex. Consumption frequency of 61 food items was assessed in the questionnaire; attention was given to foods that are sources of vitamins A and C and carotene. The major finding was an inverse relationship between fruit intake and risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer; individuals in the highest quartile of intake had about half the risk of those in the lowest quartile. Vitamin C, carotene, or fiber in fruit did not appear to account completely for this relationship, since these nutrients in vegetables did not provide similar protection. This finding suggests the influence of other constituents in fruits, although it is possible that cooking vegetables may have a nutrient-diminishing effect. Dietary intake of other nutrients, such as the B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, and iron, showed no consistent relationship to risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Coffee or other hot beverage consumption did not increase risk; intake of nitrite-containing meats or cooking practices, such as smoking, pickling, or charcoal grilling, also did not increase risk. All analyses were adjusted for the effects of tobacco and alcohol, strong risk factors for oral and pharyngeal cancer. Dietary findings among the few subjects who did not use tobacco or alcohol were similar to those for all subjects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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