Purpose: Flavonoids have drawn attention because of their antioxidant capacity and anti-carcinogenic effect in various types of cancer. A limited number of studies has investigated their potential effect on the risk of bladder cancer, with inconsistent results.
Methods: We analyzed data from an Italian case-control study including 690 incident bladder cancer cases and 665 controls admitted to the same network of hospitals for acute, non-neoplastic, non tobacco-related diseases. Subjects were interviewed using a reproducible and validated food-frequency questionnaire. We applied data on food and beverage composition to estimate the intake of isoflavones, anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, flavanones, flavones and flavonols. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) through multiple logistic regression models, including terms for potential confounding factors, including tobacco smoking and total energy intake.
Results: We found an inverse association between isoflavones (OR for the highest compared to the lowest quintile of intake = 0.56, 95% CI 0.37-0.84) and flavones (OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.44-0.95) and bladder cancer. Non-significant inverse association was found for flavan-3-ols (OR = 0.70), flavonols (OR = 0.85) and total flavonoids (OR = 0.76). The results were consistent for non-muscle-invasive and muscle-invasive bladder cancers.
Conclusions: Our data indicate an inverse association between isoflavones and flavones with respect to bladder cancer risk.
Keywords: Bladder cancer; Case–control study; Flavonoids; Risk factors.