Cancer Research (1993 Feb 1) 53(3):536-43u

Vegetables, fruit, and lung cancer in the Iowa Women’s Health Study.
Steinmetz KA,  Potter JD,  Folsom AR.
Division of Epidemiology,  School of Public Health University of Minnesota.  Minneapolis 55454-1015.

Previous epidemiological studies have shown an inverse association between vegetables and fruit consumption and lung cancer risk; few of these studies have been prospective or have focused upon women. In 1986, we assessed food intake in 41,837 Iowa women, aged 55 to 69 yr, with a mailed 127-item food frequency questionnaire. After 4 years of follow-up, 179 incident cases of lung cancer were identified via the Iowa Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. After specific exclusion criteria were applied, a nested case-control comparison of 138 cases with 2,814 randomly selected noncases was  undertaken. Intakes, in the upper-most quartile, of 11 vegetables and  fruit groups, as well as of the nutrients beta-carotene and vitamin  C, were explored. High intakes of all vegetables and fruit, all  vegetables, and green leafy vegetables were each associated with an  approximate halving of risk.... Lung cancer risk was unrelated to consumption of the three food groups defined as “high-carotenoid” (beta-carotene, lutein, and  lycopene) and tomatoes. In an analysis stratified by histological  type of lung cancer, the strongest inverse associations for vegetables and fruit were seen for large cell carcinoma. Analysis by  smoking status showed the inverse associations for most vegetables and  fruit groups with lung cancer risk to be stronger for exsmokers than  for current smokers. Results from the stratified analyses must be  interpreted with caution because of the small number of cases in each stratum.

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