A cohort study of tobacco use, diet, occupation, and lung cancer mortality

Cancer Causes Control. 1992 May;3(3):247-54. doi: 10.1007/BF00124258.


In 1966, a cohort of White males aged 35 or over, who were policy-holders with the Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Society (United States), completed a mail questionnaire on tobacco use, diet, and demographic characteristics. During the 20 years of follow-up, 219 lung cancer deaths occurred. Besides the strong relationship with cigarette smoking, we observed an effect on lung cancer risk among current users of cigars or pipes who were nonsmokers of cigarettes (relative risk [RR] = 3.5, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-12.6) or who were past/occasional users of cigarettes (RR = 2.7, CI = 1.4-5.3). In addition, elevated risks (from 1.5 to 2.6) of lung cancer were found among craftsmen and laborers, with the highest risks among subjects who worked in the mining or manufacturing industry. No association between current (as of 1966) use of beer or hard liquor and lung cancer was observed, although past users were at elevated risk. An inverse association between lung cancer and intake of fruits was observed, and risks of lung cancer were lower among persons in the highest dietary intake quintiles of vitamins A and C. Except for oranges, however, none of the inverse associations with fruits or dietary nutrients had statistically significant trends. The findings from this cohort study add to the evidence of an adverse effect of cigar/pipe smoking and possibly protective effect of dietary factors on lung cancer risk.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Diet*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Life
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Occupations*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin A / analysis


  • Vitamin A
  • Ascorbic Acid