Background: Meat, milk, and eggs have been inconsistently associated with the risk of advanced prostate cancer. These foods are sources of choline-a nutrient that may affect prostate cancer progression through cell membrane function and one-carbon metabolism. No study has examined dietary choline and the risk of lethal prostate cancer.
Objective: Our objective was to examine whether dietary choline, choline-containing compounds, and betaine (a choline metabolite) increase the risk of lethal prostate cancer.
Design: We prospectively examined the intake of these nutrients and the risk of lethal prostate cancer among 47,896 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. In a case-only survival analysis, we examined the postdiagnostic intake of these nutrients and the risk of lethal prostate cancer among 4282 men with an initial diagnosis of nonmetastatic disease during follow-up. Diet was assessed with a validated questionnaire 6 times during 22 y of follow-up.
Results: In the incidence analysis, we observed 695 lethal prostate cancers during 879,627 person-years. Men in the highest quintile of choline intake had a 70% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer (HR: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.45; P-trend = 0.005). In the case-only survival analysis, we observed 271 lethal cases during 33,679 person-years. Postdiagnostic choline intake was not statistically significantly associated with the risk of lethal prostate cancer (HR for quintile 5 compared with quintile 1: 1.69; 95% CI: 0.93, 3.09; P-trend = 0.20).
Conclusion: Of the 47,896 men in our study population, choline intake was associated with an increased risk of lethal prostate cancer.