Journal Article

Dietary Carotenoids, Serum β-Carotene, and Retinol and Risk of Lung Cancer in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cohort Study

Crystal N. Holick, Dominique S. Michaud, Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Susan T. Mayne, Pirjo Pietinen, Philip R. Taylor, Jarmo Virtamo and Demetrius Albanes

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 156, issue 6, pages 536-547
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwf072
Dietary Carotenoids, Serum β-Carotene, and Retinol and Risk of Lung Cancer in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cohort Study

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Findings from several β-carotene supplementation trials were unexpected and conflicted with most observational studies. Carotenoids other than β-carotene are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and may play a role in this important malignancy, but previous findings regarding the five major carotenoids are inconsistent. The authors analyzed the associations between dietary β-carotene, β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, β-cryptoxanthin, vitamin A, serum β-carotene, and serum retinol and the lung cancer risk in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study cohort of male smokers conducted in southwestern Finland between 1985 and 1993. Of the 27,084 male smokers aged 50–69 years who completed the 276-food item dietary questionnaire at baseline, 1,644 developed lung cancer during up to 14 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with a lower lung cancer risk (relative risk = 0.73, 95% confidence interval: 0.62, 0.86, highest vs. lowest quintile). Lower risks of lung cancer were observed for the highest versus the lowest quintiles of lycopene (28%), lutein/zeaxanthin (17%), β-cryptoxanthin (15%), total carotenoids (16%), serum β-carotene (19%), and serum retinol (27%). These findings suggest that high fruit and vegetable consumption, particularly a diet rich in carotenoids, tomatoes, and tomato-based products, may reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Keywords: beta-carotene; carotenoids; lung neoplasms; prospective studies; vitamin A; Abbreviations: ATBC, Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene; CI, confidence interval; RR, relative risk.

Journal Article.  7748 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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