Consumption of vegetables and fruits and risk of subtypes of head-neck cancer in the Netherlands Cohort Study.Int J Cancer 2015; 136(5):E396-409IJ
There is limited prospective data on the relationship between consumption of vegetables and fruits and the risk of head-neck cancer (HNC) subtypes [i.e., oral cavity cancer (OCC), oro-/hypopharyngeal cancer (OHPC) and laryngeal cancer (LC)]. Therefore, we investigated these associations within the Netherlands Cohort Study, in which 120,852 participants completed a 150-item food frequency questionnaire at baseline in 1986. After 20.3 years of follow-up, 415 cases of HNC (131 OCC, 88 OHPC, three oral cavity/pharynx unspecified or overlapping and 193 LC) and 3,898 subcohort members were available for case-cohort analysis using Cox proportional hazards models. Total vegetable and fruit consumption was inversely associated with risk of HNC overall [multivariable-adjusted rate ratios for highest vs. lowest quartile: 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.85, p trend 0.002] and all HNC subtypes, with the strongest associations for OCC. Total vegetable intake and total fruit intake were also associated with a decreased risk of HNC overall and HNC subtypes. No significant interaction was found between vegetable and fruit intake and alcohol consumption or cigarette smoking. In conclusion, in this large-scale cohort study, consumption of vegetables and fruits was associated with a decreased risk of HNC overall and all subtypes. Consumption of vegetables and fruits (or of specific groups of them) may protect against HNC and its subtypes.