Dietary micronutrients and cervical dysplasia in southwestern American Indian women

Nutr Cancer. 1992;17(2):179-85. doi: 10.1080/01635589209514185.


American Indian women in the Southwest have high rates of cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia in contrast to low rates of cancers for other sites. Despite their high rates of cervical disease, no published information has specifically examined risk factors for cervical cancer or cervical dysplasia among American Indian women. We carried out a pilot case-control study of cervical dysplasia in southwestern American Indian women to examine the relationship of dietary intake of vitamin C, folacin, vitamin E, carotenoids, and retinol with cervical cytological abnormalities. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were collected from women with cervical dysplasia (n = 42) and women with normal cervical cytologies (n = 58). Macro- and micronutrient intake was estimated from these recalls utilizing food and nutrient data from the USDA Survey Nutrient Database. Although mean differences between cases and controls were not statistically significant for any of the micronutrients examined, women with low intake of vitamin C, folacin, and vitamin E were at increased risk of having cervical dysplasia when the data were analyzed as stratified for level of intake (low vs. high intake odds ratios were 3.0 for vitamin C, 3.3 for folacin, and 1.7 for vitamin E). The relationship between dietary micronutrients and cervical dysplasia among American Indian women warrants further investigation using more refined measures of dietary micronutrient intake, together with consideration of other risk factors for cervical disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • New Mexico / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pilot Projects
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / ethnology*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / etiology*
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Folic Acid
  • Ascorbic Acid