Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 2003–2011 | Cite as

Dietary folate and folate vitamers and the risk of prostate cancer in The Netherlands Cohort Study

  • Bas A. J. VerhageEmail author
  • Paul Cremers
  • Leo J. Schouten
  • R. Alexandra Goldbohm
  • Piet A. van den Brandt
Original paper



The aim of the present study was to examine the association between intake of folate, and specific folate vitamers, and the risk of advanced and total prostate cancer.


The association between dietary folate and prostate cancer risk was evaluated in The Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) on diet and cancer, conducted among 58,279 men ages 55–69 years at baseline. Information on diet was collected at baseline by means of food frequency questionnaires. Incident cases were identified by record linkage with regional cancer registries and the Dutch National Database of Pathology Reports. After 17.3 years of follow-up, 3,669 incident prostate cancer cases, of which 1,290 advanced cases, and 2,336 male subcohort members were available for case-cohort analyses.


Dietary folate was not associated with prostate cancer risk, nor with the risk of advanced prostate cancer, among men in the NLCS cohort (HR = 1.05, 95 % CI: 0.87–1.26 and HR = 1.09, 95 % CI: 0.88–1.35, respectively, for the highest quintile of folate intake vs. the lowest quintile). Specific folate vitamers were neither associated with the risk of prostate cancer or risk of advanced prostate cancer.


Our results do not support an association of dietary folate or specific folate vitamers on the risk of prostate cancer, or advanced prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer Folate Folate vitamers One-carbon metabolism Cohort study Epidemiology 



The Netherlands Cohort Study on diet and cancer


Food frequency questionnaire


Hazard rate


Confidence interval


Odds ratio



We are indebted to the participants of this study and further wish to thank the cancer registries (IKA, IKL, IKMN, IKN, IKO, IKR, IKST, IKW, IKZ, and VIKC), and The Netherlands nationwide registry of pathology (PALGA). We also thank Dr. A. Volovics and Dr. A. Kester for statistical advice; S. van de Crommert, H. Brants, J. Nelissen, C. de Zwart, M. Moll, W. van Dijk, M. Jansen, and A. Pisters for assistance; and H. van Montfort, T. van Moergastel, L. van den Bosch, R. Schmeitz for programming assistance. The study was supported by research grants from the Dutch Cancer Society.

Conflict of interest

No financial disclosures from any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bas A. J. Verhage
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Cremers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leo J. Schouten
    • 1
  • R. Alexandra Goldbohm
    • 3
  • Piet A. van den Brandt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW)Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI)Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Prevention and HealthTNO Quality of LifeLeidenThe Netherlands

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