Flavonol and flavone intake and the risk of cancer in male smokers (Finland)

Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Nov;12(9):789-96. doi: 10.1023/a:1012232008016.


Objective: To study the associations between the intake of flavonols and flavones and the risk of cancer.

Methods: The study cohort consisted of 27,110 male smokers, aged 50-69 years, without history of cancer. They were participants of the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study in Finland. The men completed a validated dietary questionnaire at baseline. Incident cases of cancers were identified through national registers. During an average 6.1-year follow-up, 791 lung cancers, 226 prostate cancers, 156 urothelial cancers, 133 colorectal cancers, 111 stomach cancers, and 92 renal cell cancers were diagnosed.

Results: Intake of flavonols and flavones was inversely associated with the risk of lung cancer; multivariate relative risk in the highest vs. the lowest quartile 0.56, 95% confidence interval 0.45-0.69, p for trend 0.0001. The risk was similar in all histological types of lung cancer. No association was found between flavonol and flavone intake and the risk of other cancers.

Conclusions: Intake of flavonols and flavones seemed to be inversely associated with the risk of lung cancer, but not with that of other cancers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Diet
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Finland
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Risk
  • Smoking* / adverse effects
  • alpha-Tocopherol / therapeutic use*
  • beta Carotene / therapeutic use*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • beta Carotene
  • alpha-Tocopherol