1995 Jun 61(6 Suppl):1374S-1377S
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION
Fruit and vegetables consumption and cancer risk in a Mediterranean population.
Tavani A La Vecchia C
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri Milano Italy.
Ecological, case-control, and cohort studies present convincing evidence that diets rich in fresh fruit and vegetables protect against several common epithelial neoplasms. Studies of the Mediterranean diet are of particular interest to better understand and quantify this effect in view of the frequency and range of fruit and vegetables consumption by these populations. We review the results of a large-scale, Italian, case-control study of dietary intake of fruit and vegetables and risk of cancer at several sites. The relative risks (RRs) for most common neoplasms ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 for the highest compared with the lowest tertile of vegetables intake. Protective effects of vegetables were also observed against hormone-related neoplasms. Higher intakes of fruit were related to a reduced RR for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, or larynx, as well as of the urinary tract, although protection was less evident for other digestive tract sites, as well as for other epithelial cancers. No association was observed between fruit and vegetables consumption and nonepithelial neoplasms. For upper respiratory and digestive tract cancers, population attributable risks for fresh vegetables and fruit intake ranged from 18% to 40% in men and from 15% to 30% in women; attributable risks for fresh vegetables and fruit intake, combined with tobacco and alcohol, exceeded 85% for men and 55% for women.
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