Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1209–1215 | Cite as

Dietary intake of carotenoids and retinol and endometrial cancer risk in an Italian case–control study

  • Claudio PelucchiEmail author
  • Luigino Dal Maso
  • Maurizio Montella
  • Maria Parpinel
  • Eva Negri
  • Renato Talamini
  • Aldo Giudice
  • Silvia Franceschi
  • Carlo La Vecchia
Original Paper



To provide information on the relation between intake of carotenoids and retinol and endometrial cancer, since available data are inconsistent. Further, carotenoids other than beta-carotene have been rarely investigated.


We conducted a multi-centric case–control study in various areas of Italy between 1992 and 2006 on 454 women with incident, histologically confirmed endometrial cancer and 908 controls admitted to the same network of hospitals of cases for acute, non-neoplastic conditions. Intake of carotenoids and retinol was computed from a validated and reproducible food frequency questionnaire. We adjusted for selected covariates, including energy intake, and calculated multivariate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using conditional logistic regression.


Comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of intake, the ORs of endometrial cancer were 0.69 (95% CI, 0.48–0.99) for beta-carotene, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.45–0.94) for beta-cryptoxanthin, and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.41–0.85) for lutein plus zeaxanthin intake. No association emerged with retinol (OR = 1.31, 95% CI, 0.94–1.84), alpha-carotene (OR = 0.94, 95% CI, 0.66–1.34), and lycopene (OR = 0.95, 95% CI, 0.68–1.34).


Our results support a favorable role of selected dietary carotenoids on endometrial cancer risk.


Carotenoids Case–control study Diet Endometrial neoplasms Epidemiologic studies 



The authors thank Ms I. Garimoldi for editorial assistance.

Financial support

This work was conducted with contribution from the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), Italian League Against Cancer and Italian Ministry of Research (PRIN 2005). The work in this paper was undertaken while CLV was a Senior Fellow at the International Agency for Research on Cancer.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Pelucchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luigino Dal Maso
    • 2
  • Maurizio Montella
    • 3
  • Maria Parpinel
    • 4
  • Eva Negri
    • 1
  • Renato Talamini
    • 2
  • Aldo Giudice
    • 3
  • Silvia Franceschi
    • 5
  • Carlo La Vecchia
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”MilanItaly
  2. 2.Unità di Epidemiologia e BiostatisticaCentro di Riferimento OncologicoAviano (PN)Italy
  3. 3.Unità di EpidemiologiaIstituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione Giovanni Pascale”NaplesItaly
  4. 4.Istituto di Igiene ed Epidemiologia, DPMSCUniversità degli Studi di UdineUdineItaly
  5. 5.International Agency for Research on CancerLyonFrance
  6. 6.Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria “G. A. Maccacaro”Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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