Association of energy and fat intake with prostate carcinoma risk: results from The Netherlands Cohort Study

Cancer. 1999 Sep 15;86(6):1019-27.


Background: The roles of energy and fat intake as risk factors for prostate carcinoma are still questionable. Therefore, these factors were evaluated in the Netherlands Cohort Study described in this article.

Methods: The cohort study consisted of 58,279 men ages 55-69 years at baseline in 1986. After 6.3 years of follow-up, 642 incident prostate carcinoma cases were available for analysis. Intake of energy, fat, and separate fatty acids were measured by means of a self-administered questionnaire; fat intake was adjusted for energy by regression analysis. The case-cohort method was used to calculate rate ratios (RRs). Analyses were conducted for all prostate carcinoma cases together as well as for case subgroups (latent vs. nonlatent and localized vs. advanced).

Results: No associations were found in multivariate analyses between prostate carcinoma and intake of energy, total fat, total saturated fatty acids, or total trans unsaturated fatty acids (RR highest vs. lowest quintile: 0.99, 1.10, 1.19, and 0.99, respectively). Oleic acid intake showed a nonsignificant positive association (RR = 1.38, 95% CI: 0.88-2.19). Positive associations were also observed for intake of oleic acid in subgroup analyses. Linoleic (RR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0. 56-1.09) and linolenic (RR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.66-1.04) acid intake were associated with nonsignificantly decreased risks; only for linolenic acid did these associations persist in subgroup analyses. No associations were found for intake of arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or docosahexaenoic acid.

Conclusions: These data suggest that certain fatty acids might be involved in prostate carcinoma occurrence, although the possibility that these were chance findings cannot be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated