Objective: Women with human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are at risk for developing squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) of the cervix; however, other factors are required for infections to progress to SIL. We hypothesize that consumption of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidant nutrients may prevent, in part, the development of HPV-associated SIL.
Methods: This study is a nested case-control study of 265 HPV-positive women (93 SIL cases and 172 cytologically normal controls) in the Ludwig-McGill Cohort Study, São Paulo, Brazil. Diet was assessed by a self-administered food frequency questionnaire. The association between food and nutrient intake of antioxidants and incident SIL was determined by logistic regression and multinomial regression when comparing LSIL and HSILs.
Results: Higher reported consumption of papaya was inversely associated with risk of SIL (p trend=0.01) and strongest for >or=1 time/week (adjusted odds ratios (AORs)=0.19; 95%CI, 0.08-0.49). Risk of SIL was reduced among women reporting consumption of oranges >or=1 time/week (AOR=0.32; 95%CI, 0.12-0.87; p-trend=0.02). Nutrient intakes of ss-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene were marginally protective against SIL.
Conclusions: Frequent consumption of fruits high in antioxidant nutrients appears to be associated with reduced risk of incident SIL among Brazilian women.
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