Dietary habits and lung cancer risk among Chinese females in Hong Kong who never smoked

Nutr Cancer. 1988;11(3):155-72. doi: 10.1080/01635588809513983.


This describes a retrospective study in which 88 lung cancer patients and 137 district-matched controls were interviewed concerning the effects of diet on lung cancer risk among Hong Kong Chinese women who never smoked tobacco. Those in the lowest tertile of consuming fresh fruit or fresh fish had statistically significant adjusted relative risks (RRs) of 2.4 and 2.8, respectively. The protective effects of diet, i.e., higher consumption of leafy green vegetables, carrots, tofu, fresh fruit, and fresh fish, were confined mostly to those with adenocarcinoma or large cell tumors. Only fresh fruit was found to positively, and smoked meats to negatively, affect the risk of squamous or small cell tumors. Foods high in vitamin C, retinol, and calcium seemed to exert larger effects. Subjects from larger households were shown to be more frequent consumers of fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish. Because the lifetime weighted household size could be used as a surrogate index of past dietary quality, when it was combined with current dietary intakes of fresh fruit, the RR increased as either factor decreased in a dose-response manner. The adjusted RR was 5.8 at the lowest level. Further testing of the validity of the lifetime weighted household size as an index of past dietary quality is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking