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Nutr Cancer. 1987;10(1-2):29-37.

Vitamin A and other dietary factors in the etiology of esophageal cancer.


The risk of esophageal cancer, in relation to the frequency of consumption of selected dietary items, was evaluated in a hospital-based case-control study; this study was of 105 histologically confirmed cases and 348 control subjects with acute conditions unrelated to any of the established or potential risk factors for esophageal cancer. The frequency of consumption of carrots, green vegetables, or fresh fruits was lower in cases. Further, cases tended to eat meat and fish less frequently and eggs more frequently. The estimated multivariate relative risks were 0.6 for regular (more than once a week) carrot consumption and 0.6 and 0.3, respectively, for the highest levels of vegetable or fruit consumption (compared with the lowest ones). Consequently, a strong negative association emerged between estimated beta-carotene (but not retinol) intake and esophageal cancer risk. The risk of cancer of the esophagus was not significantly related to subjective scores of fat and whole-meal food intake; however, a strong positive association did emerge with measures of alcohol consumption. Although the information collected does not allow precise definition of specific micro-nutrient(s) causally related with esophageal cancer risk, the confirmation of marked differences in reported diet between esophageal cancer cases and controls is still of interest; this is mostly in consideration of the strength and persistence of the associations after allowing for alcohol and tobacco use in addition to indicators of socioeconomic status.

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