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Onkologie. 2001 Dec;24(6):546-51.

Coincidence of nutritional habits and esophageal cancer in Germany.

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  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Visceral- und Gefässchirurgie, Universität zu Köln, Germany.



The incidence rates for adenocarcinoma (AC) of the esophagus have risen rapidly in Western nations, whereas the incidence rates for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have remained nearly stable. There are studies about body mass index, smoking, alcohol, and development of AC or SCC. The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in nutritional habits of patients with AC or SCC compared with the population in Cologne.


From January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1998, 85 patients with esophageal cancer (SCC n = 45, AC n = 40) were interviewed about their nutritional habits using a computerized program (EBIS). By random sample, 100 citizens of Cologne who were similar of age, residence, and nationality were chosen as healthy control group (CG) and were also interviewed with EBIS.


The known risk factors, alcohol and tobacco for SCC as well as alcohol and a high body mass index for AC, were confirmed in this study. The CG had a higher daily intake of calcium, magnesium and iron compared to patients with esophageal cancer (p < 0.05). In addition, the tumor group had a significant lower daily supply of carbohydrates, fruits, and dietary fiber (p < 0.001). About 80% of the patients ate more than 100 g meat/day in comparison to 50% of participants in the CG. Patients with AC consumed more magnesium, milk, and animal protein than patients with SCC or the participants of the CG.


There are differences in nutrition between healthy controls and patients with esophageal cancer and between patients with SCC and AC. Patients with cancer of the esophagus had a nutritonal deficit in fresh fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. Compared with the other groups, patients with AC had a higher intake of protein, fat, and milk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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