Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1053–1063 | Cite as

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and lung cancer risk in never-smoking postmenopausal women

  • Ting-Yuan David Cheng
  • Xiaoling Song
  • Shirley A. A. Beresford
  • Gloria Y. F. Ho
  • Karen C. Johnson
  • Mridul Datta
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
  • Jean Wactawski-Wende
  • Lihong Qi
  • Marian L. Neuhouser
Original paper



Vitamin D has been implicated in lowering lung cancer risk, but serological data on the association among never-smoking women are limited. We report results examining the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations with lung cancer risk among female never smokers. We also examined whether the association was modified by vitamin D supplementation and serum vitamin A concentrations.


In the Women’s Health Initiative, including the calcium/vitamin D (CaD) Trial, we selected 298 incident cases [191 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) including 170 adenocarcinoma] and 298 matched controls of never smokers. Baseline serum 25(OH)D was assayed by a chemiluminescent method. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for quartiles and predefined clinical cutoffs of serum 25(OH)D concentrations.


Comparing quartiles 4 versus 1 of serum 25(OH)D concentrations, ORs were 1.06 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61–1.84] for all lung cancer, 0.94 (95% CI 0.52–1.69) for NSCLC, and 0.91 (95% CI 0.49–1.68) for adenocarcinoma. Comparing serum 25(OH)D ≥ 75 (high) versus <30 nmol/L (deficient), ORs were 0.76 (95% CI 0.31–1.84) for all lung cancer, 0.71 (95% CI 0.27–1.86) for NSCLC, and 0.81 (95% CI 0.31–2.14) for adenocarcinoma. There is suggestive evidence that CaD supplementation (1 g calcium + 400 IU D3/day) and a high level of circulating vitamin A may modify the associations of 25(OH)D with lung cancer overall and subtypes (p interaction <0.10).


In this group of never-smoking postmenopausal women, the results did not support the hypothesis of an association between serum 25(OH)D and lung cancer risk.


25-Hydroxyvitamin D Lung cancer Postmenopausal women Never smokers Histology 



We thank Xiaojun Hu and Pamela Y. Yang for their technical assistance with the lab assays and Hui-Chun Tammy Hsu for her statistical assistance. We also thank WHI participants and the Program Office; Jacques Rossouw, Shari Ludlam, Joan McGowan, Leslie Ford, and Nancy Geller (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD); Garnet Anderson, Ross Prentice, Andrea LaCroix, and Charles Kooperberg (the Clinical Coordinating Center at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA); the Investigators and Academic Centers; JoAnn E Manson (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA); Barbara V Howard (MedStar Health Research Institute/Howard University, Washington, DC); Marcia L Stefanick (Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford, CA); Rebecca Jackson (The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH); Cynthia A Thomson (University of Arizona, Tucson/Phoenix, AZ); Marian Limacher (University of Florida, Gainesville/Jacksonville, FL); Robert Wallace (University of Iowa, Iowa City/Davenport, IA); Lewis Kuller (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA); Sally Shumaker (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC).


This work was supported by NIH/NCI grants R03CA167696 and K07CA201334. The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services through contracts HHSN268201100046C, HHSN268201100001C, HHSN268201100002C, HSN268201100003C, HHSN268201100004C, and HHSN271201100004C.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

10552_2017_956_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 38 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ting-Yuan David Cheng
    • 1
  • Xiaoling Song
    • 2
  • Shirley A. A. Beresford
    • 2
  • Gloria Y. F. Ho
    • 3
    • 4
  • Karen C. Johnson
    • 5
  • Mridul Datta
    • 6
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
    • 7
  • Jean Wactawski-Wende
    • 8
  • Lihong Qi
    • 9
  • Marian L. Neuhouser
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Public Health Sciences DivisionFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Feinstein Institute for Medical ResearchManhassetUSA
  4. 4.Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of MedicineHempsteadUSA
  5. 5.Department of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  6. 6.Department of Nutrition SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  7. 7.City of Hope National Medical CenterDuarteUSA
  8. 8.Department of Epidemiology and Environment HealthUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  9. 9.Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA

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