Purpose: Animal and laboratory studies suggest that long-chain omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found in fatty fish, may protect against carcinogenesis, but human studies on dietary intake of polyunsaturated fats and fish with endometrial cancer risk show mixed results.
Methods: We evaluated the associations between endometrial cancer risk and intake of fatty acids and fish in a population-based sample of 556 incident cancer cases and 533 age-matched controls using multivariate unconditional logistic regression methods.
Results: Although total n-3 fatty acid intake was not associated with endometrial cancer risk, higher intakes of eicosapentaenoic (EPA 20:5) and docosahexaenoic (DHA 22:6) fatty acids were significantly associated with lower risks (OR = 0.57, 95 % CI: 0.39-0.84; OR = 0.64, 95 % CI: 0.44-0.94; respectively) comparing extreme quartiles. The ratio of n-3:n-6 fatty acids was inversely associated with risk only on a continuous scale (OR = 0.84, 95 % CI: 0.71-0.99), while total fish intake was not associated with risk. Fish oil supplement use was significantly associated with reduced risk of endometrial cancer: OR = 0.63 (95 % CI: 0.45-0.88).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that dietary intake of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA in foods and supplements may have protective associations against the development of endometrial cancer.