Dietary vitamin A intake and the risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis

Biosci Rep. 2020 Apr 30;40(4):BSR20193979. doi: 10.1042/BSR20193979.


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated some associations between dietary vitamin A intake and ovarian cancer risk with an inconsistent relationship. We therefore performed the present study to further explore the association between them.

Methods: Databases of PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were retrieved up to September 1, 2019. Summarized relative risk (RR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Stata 14.0 software was used for data analysis.

Results: Fifteen articles involving 4882 cases and 443,179 participants were included in this meta-analysis. A positive association between dietary vitamin A intake and ovarian cancer risk was found (RR = 0.816, 95%CI = 0.723-0.920, I2 = 48.4%, Pfor heterogeneity = 0.019). Significant association was also found in case-control studies (RR = 0.769, 95%CI = 0.655-0.902), but not in cohort studies. When we performed the analysis between ovarian cancer risk and geographic locations, we found an inverse association in North American populations (RR = 0.825, 95%CI = 0.720-0.946), instead of other populations.

Conclusions: In summary, findings from the present study suggested that higher dietary intake of vitamin A may contribute to the lower development of ovarian cancer, especially among North Americans.

Keywords: Dietary intake; Meta-analysis; Ovarian cancer; Vitamin A.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamin A