Phytoestrogen consumption and endometrial cancer risk: a population-based case–control study in New Jersey
Phytoestrogens have been shown to exert anti-estrogenic and estrogenic effects in some tissues, including the breast. However, only a few studies have evaluated their role in endometrial cancer risk. We evaluated this association in a population-based case–control study in New Jersey. A total of 424 cases and 398 controls completed an interview, including a food frequency questionnaire with supplemental questions for phytoestrogen foods. Risk estimates were derived using an unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for major risk factors for endometrial cancer. There was some suggestion of a decreased risk with quercetin intake (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.41–1.01 for the highest compared to the lowest quartile; p for trend: 0.02). We found a limited evidence of an association with any of the lignans evaluated, total lignans, coumestrol, individual isoflavones, total isoflavones, or total phytoestrogens. However, there was some suggestion of an inverse association with total isoflavone intake limited to lean women (BMI <25; OR for the highest tertile: 0.50; 95% CI: 0.25–0.98) and those with a waist-to-hip ratio ≤0.85 (OR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.33–1.05). There was no evidence of effect modification by HRT use. This study suggests a reduction in endometrial cancer risk with quercetin intake and with isoflavone intake in lean women.
KeywordsEndometrial neoplasms Phytoestrogens Isoflavones Lignans Quercetin Diet
Food frequency questionnaire
Body mass index
Hormone replacement therapy
Estrogen replacement therapy
We thank the interviewers and students who were involved in this study (Silvia Brendel, Dina Gifkins, Nora Geraghty, June Kittredge, Elinor Miller, Louise Salant, Mathilde Saxon, Elizabeth Ward, Doreen Wass, Kay Yoon), the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services personnel (Tara Blando, Joan Kay, Betsy Kohler, Kevin Masterson, and Helen Weiss), as well as all the participants who generously donated their time to the study. This work was funded by NIH-K07 CA095666 and R01CA83918.
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