Diverse Veggie Intake May Lower Lung Cancer Risk

Link only in smokers; more variety in fruit, veggie intake tied to lower squamous cell cancer risk
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may reduce the risk of lung cancer in current smokers, according to research published online Aug. 31 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Frederike L. Büchner, of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 452,187 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, including 1,613 diagnosed with lung cancer after a median follow-up of 8.7 years. Diet diversity scores were used to quantify the variety in fruit and vegetable consumption.

The researchers found that the risk of lung cancer decreased with increasing variety in vegetable subgroups (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77), though the association was restricted to current smokers (HR, 0.73). In continuous analyses, among current smokers, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma decreased with more variety in fruit and vegetable products combined (HR/two products, 0.88), vegetable subgroups (HR/subgroup, 0.88), vegetable products (HR/two products, 0.87), and fruit products (HR/two products, 0.84).

"The greater variety in fruit and/or vegetable consumption was not related to lung cancer risk in former and never smokers nor was it related to the risk of adenocarcinomas and small cell carcinomas. Because smoking is the predominant risk factor, the primary focus for public health in reducing lung cancer incidence should continue to be smoking prevention and cessation," the authors conclude.

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