Diet and nasopharyngeal cancer in a low-risk population

Diana C. Farrow, Thomas L. Vaughan, Marianne Berwick, Charles F. Lynch, G. Marie Swanson, Joseph L. Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Asian studies have reported that risk of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is increased in individuals who frequently consume salted fish, which contains high levels of N-nitroso compounds. As part of a collaborative, population- based, case-control study in the U.S., where the annual incidence of the disease is low, we investigated whether dietary intake of preformed nitrosamines or nitrosamine precursors, or of antioxidants including vitamin C and carotenoids, was associated with altered risk of NPC overall, or of specific histologic subtypes of disease. Cases (n = 133) identified at 5 population-based cancer registries and controls (n = 212) identified through random digit dialing completed a telephone interview and self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Dietary exposures were expressed as quartiles of intake, and odds ratios (ORs) calculated using the lowest quartile of intake as the reference category. Risk of non-keratinizing and undifferentiated tumors of the nasopharynx was increased in frequent consumers of preserved meats, which contain high levels of added nitrites. ORs in the 2nd, 3rd and highest quartile were 1.99, 4.35 and 4.59, although 95% confidence intervals did not exclude 1.0. Risk of differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, but not other histologic types, was significantly reduced in individuals with vitamin C intake above the lowest quartile (ORs 0.30, 0.33 and 0.30 in the 2nd, 3rd and highest quartiles, respectively). This association was markedly stronger among non-smokers and former smokers than among current smokers. Finally, individuals who reported consuming supplemental vitamins were at an approximately 50% reduced risk of NPC. Our results indicate that future studies should consider the effects of dietary risk factors on the risk of specific histologic subsets of NPC, and not assume that the disease is etiologically homogeneous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-679
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms
Diet
Population
Nitrosamines
Odds Ratio
Ascorbic Acid
Nitroso Compounds
Nasopharynx
Carotenoids
Nitrites
Vitamins
Meat
Registries
Case-Control Studies
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Neoplasms
Fishes
Antioxidants
Confidence Intervals
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Farrow, D. C., Vaughan, T. L., Berwick, M., Lynch, C. F., Swanson, G. M., & Lyon, J. L. (1998). Diet and nasopharyngeal cancer in a low-risk population. International Journal of Cancer, 78(6), 675-679. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19981209)78:6<675::AID-IJC2>3.0.CO;2-J

Diet and nasopharyngeal cancer in a low-risk population. / Farrow, Diana C.; Vaughan, Thomas L.; Berwick, Marianne; Lynch, Charles F.; Swanson, G. Marie; Lyon, Joseph L.

In: International Journal of Cancer, Vol. 78, No. 6, 1998, p. 675-679.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Farrow, DC, Vaughan, TL, Berwick, M, Lynch, CF, Swanson, GM & Lyon, JL 1998, 'Diet and nasopharyngeal cancer in a low-risk population', International Journal of Cancer, vol. 78, no. 6, pp. 675-679. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19981209)78:6<675::AID-IJC2>3.0.CO;2-J
Farrow, Diana C. ; Vaughan, Thomas L. ; Berwick, Marianne ; Lynch, Charles F. ; Swanson, G. Marie ; Lyon, Joseph L. / Diet and nasopharyngeal cancer in a low-risk population. In: International Journal of Cancer. 1998 ; Vol. 78, No. 6. pp. 675-679.
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