Nut Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: Results from Two Large Observational Studies

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Jun;26(6):826-836. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0806. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


Background: Epidemiologic evidence on the association between nut consumption and lung cancer risk is limited.Methods: We investigated this relationship in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study, a population-based case-control study, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Diet and Health Study, a prospective cohort. We identified 2,098 lung cases for EAGLE and 18,533 incident cases in AARP. Diet was assessed by food frequency questionnaire for both studies. Multivariable ORs and HRs and respective 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression for EAGLE and AARP, respectively.Results: Higher frequency of intake of nut consumption was inversely associated with overall lung cancer risk (highest vs. lowest quintile, OREAGLE = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.95; HRAARP = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.81-0.91), regardless of smoking status. Results from the prospective cohort showed similar associations across histologic subtypes and a more pronounced benefits from nut consumption for those who smoked 1 to 20 cigarettes/day (OREAGLE = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.95; HRAARP = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74-0.94).Conclusions: Nut consumption was inversely associated with lung cancer in two large population-based studies, and associations were independent of cigarette smoking and other known risk factors.Impact: To our knowledge, this is the first study that examined the association between nut consumption and lung cancer risk by histologic subtypes and smoking intensity. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(6); 826-36. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Nuts / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors