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Dietary consumption patterns and laryngeal cancer risk

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June 14, 2016
by Petros V. Vlastarakos, MD, MSc, PhD; Andrianna Vassileiou, MD, PhD; Evie Delicha, MSc; Dimitrios Kikidis, MD, MSc; Dimosthenis Protopapas, MD, PhD; Thomas P. Nikolopoulos, MD, DM, PhD


We conducted a case-control study to investigate the effect of diet on laryngeal carcinogenesis. Our study population was made up of 140 participants-70 patients with laryngeal cancer (LC) and 70 controls with a non-neoplastic condition that was unrelated to diet, smoking, or alcohol. A food-frequency questionnaire determined the mean consumption of 113 different items during the 3 years prior to symptom onset. Total energy intake and cooking mode were also noted. The relative risk, odds ratio (OR), and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated by multiple logistic regression analysis. We found that the total energy intake was significantly higher in the LC group (p < 0.001), and that the difference remained statistically significant after logistic regression analysis (p < 0.001; OR: 118.70). Notably, meat consumption was higher in the LC group (p < 0.001), and the difference remained significant after logistic regression analysis (p = 0.029; OR: 1.16). LC patients also consumed significantly more fried food (p = 0.036); this difference also remained significant in the logistic regression model (p = 0.026; OR: 5.45). The LC group also consumed significantly more seafood (p = 0.012); the difference persisted after logistic regression analysis (p = 0.009; OR: 2.48), with the consumption of shrimp proving detrimental (p = 0.049; OR: 2.18). Finally, the intake of zinc was significantly higher in the LC group before and after logistic regression analysis (p = 0.034 and p = 0.011; OR: 30.15, respectively). Cereal consumption (including pastas) was also higher among the LC patients (p = 0.043), with logistic regression analysis showing that their negative effect was possibly associated with the sauces and dressings that traditionally accompany pasta dishes (p = 0.006; OR: 4.78). Conversely, a higher consumption of dairy products was found in controls (p < 0.05); logistic regression analysis showed that calcium appeared to be protective at the micronutrient level (p < 0.001; OR: 0.27). We found no difference in the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables between the LC patients and controls; however, the LC patients did have a greater consumption of cooked tomatoes and cooked root vegetables (p = 0.039 for both), and the controls had more consumption of leeks (p = 0.042) and, among controls younger than 65 years, cooked beans (p = 0.037). Lemon (p = 0.037), squeezed fruit juice (p = 0.032), and watermelon (p = 0.018) were also more frequently consumed by the controls. Other differences at the micronutrient level included greater consumption by the LC patients of retinol (p = 0.044), polyunsaturated fats (p = 0.041), and linoleic acid (p = 0.008); LC patients younger than 65 years also had greater intake of riboflavin (p = 0.045). We conclude that the differences in dietary consumption patterns between LC patients and controls indicate a possible role for lifestyle modifications involving nutritional factors as a means of decreasing the risk of laryngeal cancer.

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