The role of diet in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its typical precursor, chronic liver disease (CLD), is poorly understood. Following dietary recommendations has been shown to reduce risk of many cancers, but whether such diets are associated with HCC and CLD is unknown. We prospectively evaluated the association of two dietary indices, the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and the alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (aMED), with HCC incidence and CLD mortality in a large U.S. prospective cohort. We calculated the HEI-2010 and aMED scores for 494,942 participants in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health study, based on typical diet assessed using a food frequency questionnaire FFQ between 1995 and 1996. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for quintiles of each index were estimated using Cox's proportional hazards regression, after adjusting for alcohol intake, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, and other covariates. A total of 509 HCC cases (1995-2006) and 1,053 CLD deaths (1995-2011) were documented during follow-up. Higher HEI-2010 scores, reflecting favorable adherence to dietary guidelines, were associated with lower risk of HCC (HR, 0.72, 95% CI: 0.53-0.97 for the highest quintile, compared to lowest; P trend = 0.03) and lower mortality resulting from CLD (HR, 0.57; 95% CI: 0.46-0.71; P trend < 0.0001). High aMED scores were also associated with lower risk of HCC (HR, 0.62; 95% CI: 0.47-0.84; P trend = 0.0002) and lower risk of CLD mortality (HR, 0.52; 95% CI: 0.42-0.65; P trend < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Adhering to dietary recommendations may reduce the risk of developing HCC and dying of CLD.
© 2014 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.