Food groups and risk of prostate cancer in Italy

Int J Cancer. 2004 Jun 20;110(3):424-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.20142.


Although several studies have been conducted, the relation between diet and prostate cancer remains unclear. The role of a wide range of foods on the risk of prostate cancer has thus been analyzed in a case-control study conducted in Italy between 1991 and 2002. Cases were 1,294 patients below age 75 years with incident, histologically confirmed carcinoma of the prostate; controls were 1,451 subjects below age 75 years admitted to the same hospitals as cases for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic conditions. Multivariate odds ratios (ORs) were obtained after allowance for major potential confounding factors, including calorie intake. Among the 19 food groups considered, 4 showed some significant association with prostate cancer risk. A significant trend of increasing risk with more frequent consumption was found for milk and dairy products (OR = 1.2 for highest vs. lowest quintile, p = 0.03) as well as bread (OR = 1.4, p = 0.01), whereas inverse associations were observed for soups (OR = 0.8, p = 0.02) and cooked vegetables (OR = 0.7, p = 0.01). This uniquely large study on prostate cancer and diet in a southern European population confirms that no strong association exists between any specific foods and prostate cancer, apart from an increased risk for milk and dairy products and a possible protective effect of vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Risk
  • Vegetables