Fish consumption and lung cancer risk: systematic review and meta-analysis

Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(4):539-49. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.894102. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


There is evidence pointing to a possible role of diet on cancer etiology. Prior studies evaluating the relationship between fish consumption and lung cancer risk reported inconclusive results. The aim of this study was to achieve a comprehensive assessment of the relationship between fish consumption and lung cancer risk through systematic review and meta-analysis. Case control and cohort studies up to September 1, 2012 about fish consumption and lung cancer risk were confirmed by an online search. Separate relative risk (RR) or odds ratio (OR) estimates with 95% confidence interval (CI) of the relationship between lung cancer risk and fish consumption level from the included articles were combined by Stata11.0 software. Publication bias was evaluated by Egger's linear regression test and funnel plot. Twenty articles (17 case-control and 3 cohort studies) comprising 8799 cases of lung cancer and 17,072 noncases were included in the final analysis. The pooled results from all studies indicated that high fish consumption was significantly associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer (pooled RR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.69-0.92). There was heterogeneity among the studies (I(2) = 73%, P < 0.05). Pooled RR in case control and cohort studies were 0.76 (95% CI: 0.63-0.91) and 0.95 (95% CI: 0.73-1.24), respectively. Omission of any single study had little effect on the combined risk estimates. This article had no publication bias. This study identifies a significant association between fish consumption and lung cancer, confirming a protective role of fish in lung cancer. More well-designed prospective studies are required to further verify the effect of fish consumption on lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood*