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J Nutr. 2017 Apr;147(4):621-627. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.243279. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

Supplemental Selenium May Decrease Ovarian Cancer Risk in African-American Women.

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Department of Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN;
Department of Population Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC.
Hollings Cancer Center and Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH.
Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
Department of Oncology and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Population Studies and Disparities Research Program, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.
Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; and.
Epidemiology Program, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA.


Background: To our knowledge, no previous study has evaluated the associations of antioxidant intake with the risk of ovarian cancer in African-American women, who are known to have high mortality from the disease.Objective: We sought to evaluate these associations among 406 ovarian cancer cases and 632 age- and site-matched controls of African-American descent recruited from AACES (African American Cancer Epidemiology Study), a population-based, case-control study in 11 geographical areas within the United States.Methods: Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for a wide range of potentially confounding factors, including age, region, education, parity, oral contraceptive use, menopause, tubal ligation, family history, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, total energy, and physical activity.Results: Women with the highest intakes of supplemental selenium (>20 μg/d) had an ∼30% lower risk of ovarian cancer than those with no supplemental intake (OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.97; P-trend = 0.035). This inverse association was stronger in current smokers (OR: 0.13; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.46; P-trend = 0.001). There was no association with dietary selenium. The associations with carotenoid intakes were weak and nonsignificant (P = 0.07-0.60). We observed no association with dietary or supplemental intake of vitamin C or vitamin E. There were no appreciable differences in results between serous and nonserous tumors.Conclusions: These findings provide the first insights, to our knowledge, into the potential association between antioxidants and ovarian cancer in African-American women, indicating potential inverse associations with supplemental selenium.


African American; antioxidants; diet; ovarian cancer; women

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