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Vegetable and fruit consumption and lung cancer risk in the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer


Objective: The purpose was to study the association between vegetable and fruit consumption and lung cancer incidence using 1074 cases after 6.3 years of follow-up in the Netherlands Cohort Study.

Methods: Dietary intake was assessed using a 150-item food-frequency questionnaire. Multivariate models were used including age, sex, family history of lung cancer, highest educational level attained, and smoking history.

Results: Statistically significant inverse associations were found with total vegetables and most vegetable groups. Rate ratios (RRs) based on consumption frequency showed the strongest effect of vegetables from the Brassica group (RR 0.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.3–0.9, for consumption ≥3 times per week versus ≤ once a month). RR of highest versus lowest quintile of total vegetable consumption was 0.7 (95% CI 0.5–1.0, p-trend 0.001). Statistically significant inverse associations were found for all fruits listed in the questionnaire. RRs for quintiles of total fruit intake were 1.0, 0.7, 0.6, 0.6 and 0.8 respectively (p-trend < 0.0001). Protective effects of fruits and vegetables were stronger in current than in former smokers, and weaker for adenocarcinomas than for other types of tumors.

Conclusions: Inverse associations with lung cancer are found for both vegetable and fruit intake, but no specific type of vegetable or fruit seems to be particularly responsible.

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Voorrips, L.E., Goldbohm, R.A., Verhoeven, D.T. et al. Vegetable and fruit consumption and lung cancer risk in the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. Cancer Causes Control 11, 101–115 (2000).

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  • cohort study
  • fruit
  • lung cancer
  • vegetables