Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 805–811

Unpasteurized milk consumption and subsequent risk of cancer

  • Thomas A. Sellers
  • Robert A. Vierkant
  • Julie Djeu
  • Esteban Celis
  • Alice H. Wang
  • Nagi Kumar
  • James R. Cerhan
Original Paper

Abstract

Concerns have been raised regarding the possible adverse health effects of consumption of unpasteurized milk and risk of cancer. We examined the association of self-reported intake of unpasteurized milk with subsequent risk of cancer in a large population-based cohort study. The Iowa Women’s Health Study is a prospective cohort study of 55–69 year old women at baseline in 1986. Of the 41,836 women in the cohort at baseline, 22,808 cancer-free women completed the fourth follow-up questionnaire in 1997. Risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Reported intake of unpasteurized milk was high: 59.2% consumed only as a child, 2.5% consumed only as an adult, and 16.5% consumed as a child and an adult. A total of 2,379 cancers were identified in the cohort at risk. Overall, the age-adjusted risk of cancer was lower among women who reported consumption of unpasteurized milk only as a child (RR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.82–0.99) or as a child and an adult (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.75–0.97). Adjustment for confounding factors attenuated these associations (RR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.83–1.02 for consumption only as a child, and RR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.79–1.04 for consumption as a child and an adult). These data suggest that consumption of unpasteurized milk does not increase risk of cancer.

Keywords

Cohort Risk Virus Diet Adolescence 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Sellers
    • 1
  • Robert A. Vierkant
    • 2
  • Julie Djeu
    • 1
  • Esteban Celis
    • 1
  • Alice H. Wang
    • 2
  • Nagi Kumar
    • 1
  • James R. Cerhan
    • 2
  1. 1.H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research InstituteTampaUSA
  2. 2.Mayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA

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