Consumption of foods and micronutrients and the risk of cancer of the biliary tract

Prev Med. 1995 Nov;24(6):591-602. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1995.1094.


Background: Gallstones and obesity have been suggested as risk factors for cancer of the biliary tract. Since both factors are related to diet, we studied the relationship between dietary intake and the cancer of interest in a population-based case-control study.

Methods: The study population comprised 111 patients and 480 controls. Food intake was assessed by means of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Estimates of the intake of foods and micronutrients were obtained from cases and controls themselves (direct respondents) or from relatives (indirect respondents). Participants were categorized into tertiles of intake. Risk ratios were estimated by logistic regression analysis.

Results: The major findings are a monotonic decrease in risk associated with the consumption of vegetables (ORs 1.0, 0.7, 0.4, P value trend < 0.01) and a monotonic increase in risk associated with sugar added to drinks and desserts (ORs 1.0, 1.3, 2.5; P value trend < 0.01).

Conclusions: The finding on added sugar corresponds to our earlier report that the group monosaccharides and disaccharides is a potential risk factor for this cancer. Sugar may influence bile composition through lipoprotein metabolism. The protective effect of vegetables is in accordance with the reported inverse relationship between vegetables and many epithelial cancers of the alimentary tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / etiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Trace Elements*


  • Trace Elements