Research: OCKE and colleagues, Depa

Listed in Issue 22


OCKE and colleagues, Department of Chronic Diseases and Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands studied the dietary intake of vegetables, fruits, beta-carotene, and vitamin C and E in relation to lung cancer incidence.



Dietary history information was obtained from 561 men from Zutphen the Netherlands in 1960, 1965 and 1970. During 1971-1990, 54 new cases of lung cancer were identified. Data was analysed using Cox proportional hazard analyses,with adjustments for age, pack-years of cigarettes and energy intake.


No relation between vitamin E intake and lung cancer risk was found. Regarding vitamin C intake, the results indicated an inverse association, although this was not entirely consistent. Significantly, participants with low stable intakes - ie. low in 1960, 1965 and 1960) of vegetables, fruits and beta-carotene had greater than twofold increased relative risks of lung cancer than those individuals with high stable intakes. For people with low average dietary intakes, relative risks were much lower and not statistically significant.


This study did not show a relation between vitamin E and lung cancer risk. However, regarding beta-carotene, vitamin C, vegetables and fruits, most studies, including the present one, indicated weak inverse associations. The use of repeated intake measurements to select subgroups with stable, highly contrasting dietary intakes may be a promising approach for studying diet-cancer relationships.


Ocke MC et al. Repeated measurements of vegetables, fruits, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E in relation to lung cancer. The Zutphen Study. Am J Epidemiol 145(4): 358-65. Feb 15 1997.


Again, research confirming the importance of consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

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