Nutrients intake and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in Italy

Jerry Polesel, Renato Talamini, Maurizio Montella, Luigino Dal Maso, Marina Crovatto, Maria Parpinel, Francesco Izzo, Luigi G Tommasi, Diego Serraino, Carlo La Vecchia, Silvia Franceschi
European Journal of Cancer 2007, 43 (16): 2381-7
Although hepatitis C and B viruses and alcohol consumption are the major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), dietary habits may also be relevant. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Italy in 1999-2002, including 185 HCC cases and 412 cancer-free controls. Dietary habits were assessed using a validated food-frequency questionnaire to compute nutrient intakes. Odds ratios (OR) and corresponding confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the energy-adjusted residual models. Inverse association emerged for linoleic acid (OR=0.35 for highest versus lowest tertile; 95% CI: 0.18-0.69) and, possibly, beta-carotene (OR=0.48; 95% CI: 0.24-0.93). Among minerals, iron intake was associated with increased HCC risk (OR=3.00; 95% CI: 1.25-7.23), but the association was considerably reduced when iron from wine was excluded (OR=1.61; 95% CI: 0.78-3.30). In conclusion, a diet rich in linoleic acid containing foods (e.g. white meats and fish) and beta-carotene was inversely related to HCC risk.

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