Diet diversity and the risk of laryngeal cancer: a case-control study from Italy and Switzerland

Oral Oncol. 2009 Jan;45(1):85-9. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2008.02.011. Epub 2008 May 19.


Diet diversity (defined as the number of different foods consumed) has been considered an indicator of a healthy diet, and favorably related to the risk of several digestive tract cancers. We analyzed the relation between diet diversity and the risk of laryngeal cancer using data from a case-control study carried out between 1992 and 2000 in Italy and Switzerland. The subjects of the study were 527 patients with histologically confirmed incident cancers of the larynx and 1297 patients admitted for acute, non-neoplastic diseases, unrelated to tobacco or alcohol consumption. Total diversity was computed as the number of different foods (overall and within four food groups, i.e., vegetables, fruit, meat, and cereals) consumed at least once per week. A significant inverse association was observed for vegetable diversity (OR=0.41, 95% CI: 0.28-0.59, for the highest versus the lowest quartile) and fruit diversity (OR=0.40, 95% CI: 0.27-0.59). Conversely, a direct association was found for meat diversity (OR=1.67, 95% CI: 1.11-2.50), while no meaningful association was found for total diet and cereal diversity. The results were consistent across strata of age, alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking. This study suggests that a diet not only rich but also varied in fruit and vegetables is related to a decreased risk of laryngeal cancer risk.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology