Risk of lung cancer and consumption of vegetables and fruit in Japanese: A pooled analysis of cohort studies in Japan

Cancer Sci. 2015 Aug;106(8):1057-65. doi: 10.1111/cas.12707. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


International reviews have concluded that consumption of fruit and vegetables might decrease the risk of lung cancer. However, the relevant epidemiological evidence still remains insufficient in Japan. Therefore, we performed a pooled analysis of data from four population-based cohort studies in Japan with >200 000 participants and >1700 lung cancer cases. We computed study-specific hazard ratios by quintiles of vegetable and fruit consumption as assessed by food frequency questionnaires. Summary hazard ratios were estimated by pooling the study-specific hazard ratios with a fixed-effect model. In men, we found inverse associations between fruit consumption and the age-adjusted and area-adjusted risk of mortality or incidence of lung cancer. However, the associations were largely attenuated after adjustment for smoking and energy intake. The significant decrease in risk among men remained only for a moderate level of fruit consumption; the lowest summary hazard ratios were found in the third quintile of intake (mortality: 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.60-0.84; incidence: 0.83, 95% confidence interval 0.70-0.98). This decrease in risk was mainly detected in ever smokers. Conversely, vegetable intake was positively correlated with the risk of incidence of lung cancer after adjustment for smoking and energy intake in men (trend P, 0.024); the summary hazard ratio for the highest quintile was 1.26 (95% confidence interval 1.05-1.50). However, a similar association was not detected for mortality from lung cancer. In conclusion, a moderate level of fruit consumption is associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer in men among the Japanese population.

Keywords: Cohort studies; fruit; lung neoplasms; meta-analysis; vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*