Diet and Other Lifestyle Factors Associated with Prostate Cancer Differ Between the German and Italian Region of Switzerland

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2016 Feb;86(1-2):1-8. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000433. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Purpose: In Switzerland, prostate cancer mortality is higher in the German than in the Italian-speaking region. We aimed at exploring the association of living in one of the two regions with lifestyle factors presumably lowering the risk of prostate cancer.

Methods: We pooled data from the Swiss Health Survey, conducted every 5 years 1992 - 2012. Information on diet (meat, fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables), alcohol, smoking, physical activity and body mass index were dichotomized into "risky" and "risk-reducing" lifestyle behaviour with respect to prostate cancer. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess associations between the German and Italian region of Switzerland and each single lifestyle factor.

Results: Living in the Italian region was associated with "risk-reducing" diet, i.e. with a higher prevalence of low dairy products and meat consumption and high fish consumption (odds ratio [OR] 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21 - 1.48; OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.94 - 3.72; OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.71 - 2.12, respectively). However, men in the Italian region were less likely to have low alcohol consumption and regular physical activity than men in the German region (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.36 - 0.52 and OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69 - 0.86, respectively).

Conclusions: Prostate cancer risk-reducing dietary behaviour (i.e., less dairy products, less meat and more fish) was more common in the Italian region, whereas other risk-reducing lifestyle behaviours were more common in the German region.

Keywords: Diet; german; italian; lifestyle; switzerland.