Milk consumption and bladder cancer risk: a meta-analysis of published epidemiological studies

Nutr Cancer. 2011 Nov;63(8):1263-71. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.614716. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Studies investigating the association of milk consumption with bladder cancer risk have reported inconsistent findings. We conducted a meta-analysis of published cohort and case-control studies to pool the risk estimates of the association between milk intake and bladder cancer. We quantified associations with bladder cancer using meta-analysis of odds ratio (OR) associated with the highest vs. the lowest category of milk intake using fixed- or random-effect models depending on the heterogeneity of effects among studies. Nineteen cohort and case-control studies were eligible for inclusion. High milk intake was significantly associated with decreased risk of bladder cancer (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.97) when comparing the highest with the lowest category of milk intake. The inverse association was stronger in Asia (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.40-0.81) than North America (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.76-1.03), and no association was observed in Europe (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.85-1.26). This relationship also varied significantly by specific dairy products. Our results suggest that milk may be related to the reduction of bladder cancer risk. Further studies need to clarify the biological mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asia
  • Diet*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Milk*
  • North America
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / prevention & control*