Supplemental vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk in a large cohort of men in the United States.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1999; 8(10):893-9CE
A clinical trial of vitamin E and beta-carotene supplementation for lung cancer prevention among male smokers in Finland recently reported an unexpected, strong protective effect of vitamin E against prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Our objective was to prospectively examine supplemental vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk in a distinct U.S. population. In 1986, we identified 47,780 U.S. male health professionals, free from diagnosed cancer, who completed a dietary and lifestyle questionnaire; supplemental vitamin E and prostate cancer incidence were updated biennially through 1996. We estimated relative risks (RRs) from multivariate pooled logistic regression models. There were 1896 total (non-stage A1), 522 extraprostatic, and 232 metastatic or fatal incident prostate cancer cases diagnosed between 1986-1996. Men consuming at least 100 IU of supplemental vitamin E daily had multivariate RRs of 1.07 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95-1.20) for total and 1.14 (95% CI, 0.82-1.59) for metastatic or fatal prostate cancer compared with those consuming none. Current use, dosage, and total duration of use of specific vitamin E supplements or multivitamins were not associated with risk. However, among current smokers and recent quitters, those who consumed at least 100 IU of supplemental vitamin E per day had a RR of 0.44 (95% CI, 0.18-1.07) for metastatic or fatal prostate cancer compared with nonusers. Thus, supplemental vitamin E was not associated with prostate cancer risk generally, but a suggestive inverse association between supplemental vitamin E and risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer among current smokers and recent quitters was consistent with the Finnish trial among smokers and warrants further investigation.